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Ethnographic methods for process evaluations of complex health behaviour interventions

Morgan-Trimmer, Sarah and Wood, Fiona 2016. Ethnographic methods for process evaluations of complex health behaviour interventions. Trials 17 (232) 10.1186/s13063-016-1340-2

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This article outlines the contribution that ethnography could make to process evaluations for trials of complex health-behaviour interventions. Process evaluations are increasingly used to examine how health-behaviour interventions operate to produce outcomes and often employ qualitative methods to do this. Ethnography shares commonalities with the qualitative methods currently used in health-behaviour evaluations but has a distinctive approach over and above these methods. It is an overlooked methodology in trials of complex health-behaviour interventions that has much to contribute to the understanding of how interventions work. These benefits are discussed here with respect to three strengths of ethnographic methodology: (1) producing valid data, (2) understanding data within social contexts, and (3) building theory productively. The limitations of ethnography within the context of process evaluations are also discussed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Additional Information: PDF uploaded in accordance with publisher's policies at (accessed 14.4.16).
Publisher: BioMed Central
ISSN: 1745-6215
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 13 April 2016
Date of Acceptance: 6 April 2016
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2019 15:12

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