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Process evaluation of complex interventions: Medical Research Council guidance

Process evaluation of complex interventions: Medical Research Council guidance
Process evaluation of complex interventions: Medical Research Council guidance
Attempts to tackle problems such as smoking and obesity increasingly use complex interventions. These are commonly defined as interventions that comprise multiple interacting components, although additional dimensions of complexity include the difficulty of their implementation and the number of organisational levels they target.1 Randomised controlled trials are regarded as the gold standard for establishing the effectiveness of interventions, when randomisation is feasible. However, effect sizes do not provide policy makers with information on how an intervention might be replicated in their specific context, or whether trial outcomes will be reproduced. Earlier MRC guidance for evaluating complex interventions focused on randomised trials, making no mention of process evaluation.2 Updated guidance recognised the value of process evaluation within trials, stating that it “can be used to assess fidelity and quality of implementation, clarify causal mechanisms and identify contextual factors associated with variation in outcomes.”3 However, it did not provide guidance for carrying out process evaluation
0959-8138
h1258-h1258
Moore, G.F.
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Audrey, S.
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Barker, M.
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Bond, L.
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Bonell, C.
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Hardeman, W.
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Moore, L.
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O'Cathain, A.
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Tinati, T.
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Wight, D.
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Baird, J.
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Moore, G.F.
311a2b30-19ed-40eb-a698-cab37f0c49fe
Audrey, S.
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Barker, M.
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Bond, L.
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Bonell, C.
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Hardeman, W.
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Moore, L.
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O'Cathain, A.
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Tinati, T.
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Wight, D.
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Baird, J.
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Moore, G.F., Audrey, S., Barker, M., Bond, L., Bonell, C., Hardeman, W., Moore, L., O'Cathain, A., Tinati, T., Wight, D. and Baird, J. (2015) Process evaluation of complex interventions: Medical Research Council guidance. British Medical Journal, 350 (mar19 6), h1258-h1258. (doi:10.1136/bmj.h1258). (In Press)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Attempts to tackle problems such as smoking and obesity increasingly use complex interventions. These are commonly defined as interventions that comprise multiple interacting components, although additional dimensions of complexity include the difficulty of their implementation and the number of organisational levels they target.1 Randomised controlled trials are regarded as the gold standard for establishing the effectiveness of interventions, when randomisation is feasible. However, effect sizes do not provide policy makers with information on how an intervention might be replicated in their specific context, or whether trial outcomes will be reproduced. Earlier MRC guidance for evaluating complex interventions focused on randomised trials, making no mention of process evaluation.2 Updated guidance recognised the value of process evaluation within trials, stating that it “can be used to assess fidelity and quality of implementation, clarify causal mechanisms and identify contextual factors associated with variation in outcomes.”3 However, it did not provide guidance for carrying out process evaluation

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Accepted/In Press date: 13 January 2015
Organisations: Faculty of Medicine

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 378391
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/378391
ISSN: 0959-8138
PURE UUID: 300c5edf-2abe-422c-bc85-5391261b38e4
ORCID for J. Baird: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4039-4361

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Date deposited: 25 Jun 2015 11:07
Last modified: 17 Dec 2019 01:49

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Contributors

Author: G.F. Moore
Author: S. Audrey
Author: M. Barker
Author: L. Bond
Author: C. Bonell
Author: W. Hardeman
Author: L. Moore
Author: A. O'Cathain
Author: T. Tinati
Author: D. Wight
Author: J. Baird ORCID iD

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