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Process evaluation of complex interventions: Medical Research Council guidance

Moore, Graham ORCID:, Audrey, Suzanne, Barker, Mary, Bond, Lyndal, Bonell, Chris, Hardeman, Wendy, Moore, Laurence Anthony Russell, O'Cathain, Alicia, Tinati, Tannaze, Wight, Daniel and Baird, Janis 2015. Process evaluation of complex interventions: Medical Research Council guidance. BMJ 350 (mar19) , h1258. 10.1136/bmj.h1258

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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.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions for Public Health Improvement (DECIPHer)
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN: 1756-1833
Funders: MRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 13 January 2015
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2023 18:07

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