Complex Interventions
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2021 ◽  
Vol 10 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Tina Quasdorf ◽  
Lauren Clack ◽  
Franziska Laporte Uribe ◽  
Daniela Holle ◽  
Martin Berwig ◽  
...  

Abstract Background Complex interventions in health care are characterized by multiple interacting components as well as by numerous nonlinear interactions with the social systems within which they are being implemented. The process of developing, evaluating and implementing complex interventions is therefore challenging. Established guidance such as the MRC (Medical Research Council) framework for developing and evaluating complex interventions refers to process evaluations as an integral part of the development of complex evidence-based interventions. Even though the need for process evaluations is recognized, the realization of such approaches is challenging because methodological instruction is sparse, and the phenomenon of interest is complex. A number of theoretical approaches indicating how to conduct process evaluations of complex interventions in health care exist, but a systematic and comprehensive overview of these is missing. Thus, the objective of the systematic scoping review described herein is to provide an overview and analysis of theoretical approaches suitable for the planning and conducting of process evaluations. Methods The design and conduct of this review will follow the procedures of a systematic scoping review. The search strategy will be developed following the BeHEMoTh (Behaviour of interest; Health context; Exclusions; Models or Theories) template which has been conceptualized for structured reviews of theory. The systematic search of the MEDLINE (via PubMed), CINAHL (via EBSCO) and PsycInfo (via EBSCO) electronic databases will be complemented by “hand searching” techniques. Study selection, data extraction, and data analysis will be performed by tandems of two researchers independently of each other. Divergent decisions and judgements between the two researchers will be discussed by the whole review team. Discussion The findings from this scoping review will provide an overview and comparison of theoretical approaches suitable for process evaluations of complex interventions in health care. The review results will support researchers in choosing the theoretical approach that best fits the respective focus of their process evaluation study. Systematic review registration This study has been registered with PROSPERO (International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews) under registration number CRD42020211732.


BMJ ◽  
2021 ◽  
pp. n2061
Author(s):  
Kathryn Skivington ◽  
Lynsay Matthews ◽  
Sharon Anne Simpson ◽  
Peter Craig ◽  
Janis Baird ◽  
...  

2021 ◽  
Vol 10 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
María Lazo-Porras ◽  
Hueiming Liu ◽  
J. Jaime Miranda ◽  
Graham Moore ◽  
Mafalda Burri ◽  
...  

Abstract Background The use of process evaluations is a growing area of interest in research groups working on complex interventions. This methodology tries to understand how the intervention was implemented to inform policy and practice. A recent systematic review by Liu et al. on process evaluations of complex interventions addressing non-communicable diseases found few studies in low- and middle- income countries (LMIC) because it was restricted to randomized controlled trials, primary healthcare level and non-communicable diseases. Yet, LMICs face different barriers to implement interventions in comparison to high-income countries such as limited human resources, access to health care and skills of health workers to treat chronic conditions especially at primary health care level. Therefore, understanding the challenges of interventions for non-communicable diseases and neglected tropical diseases (diseases that affect poor populations and have chronic sequelae) will be important to improve how process evaluation is designed, conducted and used in research projects in LMICs. For these reasons, in comparison to the study of Liu et al., the current study will expand the search strategy to include different study designs, languages and settings. Objective Map research using process evaluation in the areas of non-communicable diseases and neglected tropical diseases to inform the gaps in the design and conduct of this type of research in LMICs. Methods Scoping review of process evaluation studies of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and non-RCTs of complex interventions implemented in LMICs including participants with non-communicable diseases or neglected tropical diseases and their health care providers (physicians, nurses, technicians and others) related to achieve better health for all through reforms in universal coverage, public policy, service delivery and leadership. The aspects that will be evaluated are as follows: (i) available evidence of process evaluation in the areas of non-communicable diseases and neglected tropical diseases such as frameworks and theories, (ii) methods applied to conduct process evaluations and (iii) gaps between the design of the intervention and its implementation that were identified through the process evaluation. Studies published from January 2008. Exclusion criteria are as follows: not peer reviewed articles, not a report based on empirical research, not reported in English or Spanish or Portuguese or French, reviews and non-human research. Discussion This scoping review will map the evidence of process evaluations conducted in LMICs. It will also identify the methods they used to collect and interpret data, how different theories and frameworks were used and lessons from the implementation of complex interventions. This information will allow researchers to conduct better process evaluations considering special characteristics from countries with limited human resources, scarce data available and limited access to health care.


2021 ◽  
Vol 21 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Helle Terkildsen Maindal ◽  
Anne Timm ◽  
Inger Katrine Dahl-Petersen ◽  
Emma Davidsen ◽  
Line Hillersdal ◽  
...  

Abstract Background Women with prior gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes; however, this risk can be reduced by engaging in positive health behaviours e.g. healthy diet and regular physical activity. As such behaviours are difficult to obtain and maintain there is a need to develop sustainable behavioural interventions following GDM. We aimed to report the process of systematically developing a health promotion intervention to increase quality of life and reduce diabetes risk among women with prior GDM and their families. We distil general lessons about developing complex interventions through co-production and discuss our extensions to intervention development frameworks. Methods The development process draws on the Medical Research Council UK Development of complex interventions in primary care framework and an adaptation of a three-stage framework proposed by Hawkins et al. From May 2017 to May 2019, we iteratively developed the Face-it intervention in four stages: 1) Evidence review, qualitative research and stakeholder consultations; 2) Co-production of the intervention content; 3) Prototyping, feasibility- and pilot-testing and 4) Core outcome development. In all stages, we involved stakeholders from three study sites. Results During stage 1, we identified the target areas for health promotion in families where the mother had prior GDM, including applying a broad understanding of health and a multilevel and multi-determinant approach. We pinpointed municipal health visitors as deliverers and the potential of using digital technology. In stage 2, we tested intervention content and delivery methods. A health pedagogic dialogue tool and a digital health app were co-adapted as the main intervention components. In stage 3, the intervention content and delivery were further adapted in the local context of the three study sites. Suggestions for intervention manuals were refined to optimise flexibility, delivery, sequencing of activities and from this, specific training manuals were developed. Finally, at stage 4, all stakeholders were involved in developing realistic and relevant evaluation outcomes. Conclusions This comprehensive description of the development of the Face-it intervention provides an example of how to co-produce and prototype a complex intervention balancing evidence and local conditions. The thorough, four-stage development is expected to create ownership and feasibility among intervention participants, deliverers and local stakeholders. Trial registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03997773, registered retrospectively on 25 June 2019.


2021 ◽  
Vol 25 (57) ◽  
pp. 1-132
Author(s):  
Kathryn Skivington ◽  
Lynsay Matthews ◽  
Sharon Anne Simpson ◽  
Peter Craig ◽  
Janis Baird ◽  
...  

Background The Medical Research Council published the second edition of its framework in 2006 on developing and evaluating complex interventions. Since then, there have been considerable developments in the field of complex intervention research. The objective of this project was to update the framework in the light of these developments. The framework aims to help research teams prioritise research questions and design, and conduct research with an appropriate choice of methods, rather than to provide detailed guidance on the use of specific methods. Methods There were four stages to the update: (1) gap analysis to identify developments in the methods and practice since the previous framework was published; (2) an expert workshop of 36 participants to discuss the topics identified in the gap analysis; (3) an open consultation process to seek comments on a first draft of the new framework; and (4) findings from the previous stages were used to redraft the framework, and final expert review was obtained. The process was overseen by a Scientific Advisory Group representing the range of relevant National Institute for Health Research and Medical Research Council research investments. Results Key changes to the previous framework include (1) an updated definition of complex interventions, highlighting the dynamic relationship between the intervention and its context; (2) an emphasis on the use of diverse research perspectives: efficacy, effectiveness, theory-based and systems perspectives; (3) a focus on the usefulness of evidence as the basis for determining research perspective and questions; (4) an increased focus on interventions developed outside research teams, for example changes in policy or health services delivery; and (5) the identification of six ‘core elements’ that should guide all phases of complex intervention research: consider context; develop, refine and test programme theory; engage stakeholders; identify key uncertainties; refine the intervention; and economic considerations. We divide the research process into four phases: development, feasibility, evaluation and implementation. For each phase we provide a concise summary of recent developments, key points to address and signposts to further reading. We also present case studies to illustrate the points being made throughout. Limitations The framework aims to help research teams prioritise research questions and design and conduct research with an appropriate choice of methods, rather than to provide detailed guidance on the use of specific methods. In many of the areas of innovation that we highlight, such as the use of systems approaches, there are still only a few practical examples. We refer to more specific and detailed guidance where available and note where promising approaches require further development. Conclusions This new framework incorporates developments in complex intervention research published since the previous edition was written in 2006. As well as taking account of established practice and recent refinements, we draw attention to new approaches and place greater emphasis on economic considerations in complex intervention research. We have introduced a new emphasis on the importance of context and the value of understanding interventions as ‘events in systems’ that produce effects through interactions with features of the contexts in which they are implemented. The framework adopts a pluralist approach, encouraging researchers and research funders to adopt diverse research perspectives and to select research questions and methods pragmatically, with the aim of providing evidence that is useful to decision-makers. Future work We call for further work to develop relevant methods and provide examples in practice. The use of this framework should be monitored and the move should be made to a more fluid resource in the future, for example a web-based format that can be frequently updated to incorporate new material and links to emerging resources. Funding This project was jointly funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the National Institute for Health Research (Department of Health and Social Care 73514).


2021 ◽  
Vol 27 (3) ◽  
pp. 306-320
Author(s):  
Seonghee Jeong ◽  
Jeonghae Hwang ◽  
Doonam Oh

Purpose: This study was a systematic review to assess the contents and effects of an intervention program for family caregivers of the elderly with dementia in Korea. Methods: A literature search was done using Medline, CINAHL, RISS, KISS, and DBpia to identify studies reported in English or Korean from 2000 to 2021. Results: A total of 1,162 articles were searched; finally, 23 articles were used in the analysis based on the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The most applied intervention contents were knowledge provision and emotional support. Fourteen articles (60.9%) reported on complex interventions, including emotional, social support, relaxation, and various activities. The most frequently measured outcome variable in the reviewed literature was “burden,” followed by “depression” and “coping strategy.” Conclusion: The review results can provide basic data for establishing evidence and suggesting directions of interventions for family caregivers of the elderly with dementia.


2021 ◽  
Vol 19 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Robert Heggie ◽  
Kathleen Boyd ◽  
Olivia Wu

Abstract Objectives Health interventions in a clinical setting may be complex. This is particularly true of clinical interventions which require systems reorganization or behavioural change, and/or when implementation involves additional challenges not captured within a clinical trial setting. Medical Research Council guidance on complex interventions highlights the need to consider economic evaluation alongside implementation. However, the extent to which this guidance has been adhered to, and how, is unclear. The failure to incorporate implementation within the evaluation of an intervention may hinder the translation of research findings into routine practice. This will have consequences for patient care. This study examined the methods used to address implementation within health research conducted through funding from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment (HTA) programme. Methods We conducted a rapid review using a systematic approach. We included all NIHR HTA monographs which contained the word “implementation” within the title or abstract published between 2014 and 2020. We assessed the studies according to existing recommendations for specifying and reporting implementation approaches in research. Additional themes which were not included in the recommendation, but were of particular relevance to our research question, were also identified and summarized in a narrative synthesis. Results The extent to which implementation was formally incorporated, and defined, varied among studies. Methods for examining implementation ranged from single stakeholder engagement events to the more comprehensive process evaluation. There was no obvious pattern as to whether approaches to implementation had evolved over recent years. Approximately 50% (22/42) of studies included an economic evaluation. Of these, two studies included the use of qualitative data obtained within the study to quantitatively inform aspects relating to implementation and economic evaluation in their study. Discussion A variety of approaches were identified for incorporating implementation within an HTA. However, they did not go far enough in terms of incorporating implementation into the actual design and evaluation. To ensure the implementation of clinically effective and cost-effective interventions, we propose that further guidance on how to incorporate implementation within complex interventions is required. Incorporating implementation into economic evaluation provides a step in this direction.


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