Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > Framework for the development and evaluation of...

Links

Text available via DOI:

View graph of relations

Framework for the development and evaluation of complex interventions: gap analysis, workshop and consultation-informed update

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published

Standard

Framework for the development and evaluation of complex interventions : gap analysis, workshop and consultation-informed update. / Skivington, Kathryn; Matthews, Lynsay; Simpson, Sharon Anne; Craig, Peter; Baird, Janis; Blazeby, Jane M.; Boyd, Kathleen Anne; Craig, Neil; French, David; McIntosh, Emma; Pettigrew, Mark; Rycroft-Malone, Jo; White, Martin; Moore, Laurence.

In: Health Technology Assessment, Vol. 25, No. 57, 30.09.2021.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Harvard

Skivington, K, Matthews, L, Simpson, SA, Craig, P, Baird, J, Blazeby, JM, Boyd, KA, Craig, N, French, D, McIntosh, E, Pettigrew, M, Rycroft-Malone, J, White, M & Moore, L 2021, 'Framework for the development and evaluation of complex interventions: gap analysis, workshop and consultation-informed update', Health Technology Assessment, vol. 25, no. 57. https://doi.org/10.3310/hta25570

APA

Skivington, K., Matthews, L., Simpson, S. A., Craig, P., Baird, J., Blazeby, J. M., Boyd, K. A., Craig, N., French, D., McIntosh, E., Pettigrew, M., Rycroft-Malone, J., White, M., & Moore, L. (2021). Framework for the development and evaluation of complex interventions: gap analysis, workshop and consultation-informed update. Health Technology Assessment, 25(57). https://doi.org/10.3310/hta25570

Vancouver

Skivington K, Matthews L, Simpson SA, Craig P, Baird J, Blazeby JM et al. Framework for the development and evaluation of complex interventions: gap analysis, workshop and consultation-informed update. Health Technology Assessment. 2021 Sep 30;25(57). https://doi.org/10.3310/hta25570

Author

Skivington, Kathryn ; Matthews, Lynsay ; Simpson, Sharon Anne ; Craig, Peter ; Baird, Janis ; Blazeby, Jane M. ; Boyd, Kathleen Anne ; Craig, Neil ; French, David ; McIntosh, Emma ; Pettigrew, Mark ; Rycroft-Malone, Jo ; White, Martin ; Moore, Laurence. / Framework for the development and evaluation of complex interventions : gap analysis, workshop and consultation-informed update. In: Health Technology Assessment. 2021 ; Vol. 25, No. 57.

Bibtex

@article{306fbe690b4749ceb98deafd407afe75,
title = "Framework for the development and evaluation of complex interventions: gap analysis, workshop and consultation-informed update",
abstract = "BackgroundThe 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.MethodsThere 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.ResultsKey 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 {\textquoteleft}core elements{\textquoteright} 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.LimitationsThe 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.ConclusionsThis 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 {\textquoteleft}events in systems{\textquoteright} 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 workWe 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.",
author = "Kathryn Skivington and Lynsay Matthews and Simpson, {Sharon Anne} and Peter Craig and Janis Baird and Blazeby, {Jane M.} and Boyd, {Kathleen Anne} and Neil Craig and David French and Emma McIntosh and Mark Pettigrew and Jo Rycroft-Malone and Martin White and Laurence Moore",
year = "2021",
month = sep,
day = "30",
doi = "10.3310/hta25570",
language = "English",
volume = "25",
journal = "Health Technology Assessment",
issn = "1366-5278",
publisher = "National Co-ordinating Centre for HTA",
number = "57",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Framework for the development and evaluation of complex interventions

T2 - gap analysis, workshop and consultation-informed update

AU - Skivington, Kathryn

AU - Matthews, Lynsay

AU - Simpson, Sharon Anne

AU - Craig, Peter

AU - Baird, Janis

AU - Blazeby, Jane M.

AU - Boyd, Kathleen Anne

AU - Craig, Neil

AU - French, David

AU - McIntosh, Emma

AU - Pettigrew, Mark

AU - Rycroft-Malone, Jo

AU - White, Martin

AU - Moore, Laurence

PY - 2021/9/30

Y1 - 2021/9/30

N2 - BackgroundThe 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.MethodsThere 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.ResultsKey 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.LimitationsThe 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.ConclusionsThis 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 workWe 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.

AB - BackgroundThe 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.MethodsThere 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.ResultsKey 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.LimitationsThe 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.ConclusionsThis 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 workWe 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.

U2 - 10.3310/hta25570

DO - 10.3310/hta25570

M3 - Journal article

VL - 25

JO - Health Technology Assessment

JF - Health Technology Assessment

SN - 1366-5278

IS - 57

ER -