Clarifying the Definitional Boundaries and Essential Characteristics of Effective Home-Based Counseling: A Delphi Study

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)



Date of Award

Fall 2020


Despite the growing amount of literature in the area of home-based counseling, the field lacks a working definition and essential characteristics necessary for effectiveness. Counseling professionals cannot be expected to measure the vague and subjective characteristics of home-based counseling. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to develop a working definition of home-based counseling and to identify the characteristics necessary to ensure the ability to empirically determine the effectiveness of home-based counseling that might ultimately lead to more effective and accurate training and evaluation protocol. A three round Delphi method was used for this study to gain consensus on a working definition that defined the essential characteristics necessary. Two questions addressed experts’ thoughts on home-based counseling in Round 1 (R1). A definition based on themes from R1 was drafted and sent out for feedback in the Round 2 (R2). Changes were made to the overall definition based off of the feedback from the panel. Round 3 (R3) consisted of the modified definition with a Likert scale ranking agreeableness. R3 resulted in consensus with all panelists ranking the definition as very agreeable or extremely agreeable. Results from this study were used to compile an inclusive definition that encompassed home-based counseling and characteristics necessary to ensure effectiveness. Recommendations and implications encourage the information from this study to be used in the development of educational and practical applications.


Linda Ball

Subject Categories

Counseling | Social and Behavioral Sciences