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Realist complex intervention science: applying realist principles across all phases of the Medical Research Council framework for developing and evaluating complex interventions

Fletcher, Adam, Jamal, F., Moore, Graham, Evans, Rhiannon Emily, Murphy, Simon and Bonell, C. 2016. Realist complex intervention science: applying realist principles across all phases of the Medical Research Council framework for developing and evaluating complex interventions. Evaluation 22 (3) , pp. 286-303. 10.1177/1356389016652743

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Abstract

The integration of realist evaluation principles within randomised controlled trials (‘realist RCTs’) enables evaluations of complex interventions to answer questions about what works, for whom and under what circumstances. This allows evaluators to better develop and refine mid-level programme theories. However, this is only one phase in the process of developing and evaluating complex interventions. We describe and exemplify how social scientists can integrate realist principles across all phases of the Medical Research Council framework. Intervention development, modelling, and feasibility and pilot studies need to theorise the contextual conditions necessary for intervention mechanisms to be activated. Where interventions are scaled up and translated into routine practice, realist principles also have much to offer in facilitating knowledge about longer-term sustainability, benefits and harms. Integrating a realist approach across all phases of complex intervention science is vital for considering the feasibility and likely effects of interventions for different localities and population subgroups.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
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 > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2017 11:34
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/92048

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