Show Summary Details
Page of

Development and evaluation of complex multicomponent interventions in public health 

Development and evaluation of complex multicomponent interventions in public health
Chapter:
Development and evaluation of complex multicomponent interventions in public health
Author(s):

Rona Campbell

and Chris Bonell

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199661756.003.0128
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE (www.oxfordmedicine.com). © Oxford University Press, 2016. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 19 September 2019

This chapter examines the issues to be considered when developing and evaluating complex public health interventions and signposts where more detailed guidance can be found. It starts by considering what complexity means in this context including the contribution that systems theory has made to recent thinking about complexity and fidelity of intervention delivery. When developing complex interventions we suggest: (i) reading quantitative and qualitative research on similar interventions, preferably within systematic reviews; (ii) consulting stakeholders, including those that the intervention is intended to benefit, to help ensure its relevance, acceptability and ownership; (iii) considering using theory to inform the intervention design and developing a logic model to make explicit the mechanisms by which it will effect change; (iv) assessing whether the intervention could operate at more than one level (from individual through to policy) to increase its chances of success; and (v) reflecting on issues of equity and how the intervention could diminish and not widen health inequalities. In terms of evaluation, we recommend: (i) taking a phased approach where studies of efficacy or effectiveness build on early studies of feasibility and pilots; (ii) being clear as to whether a simple ‘does it work?’ answer is required or if a more nuanced ‘does it work and for whom and in what circumstance?’ is needed (we would advocated the latter as being a better way of building the public health evidence base but recognise that it requires more research effort and financial resource); (iii) using a randomised controlled design to answer a question about efficacy or effectiveness if possible, but using other designs such as non-randomised natural experiments or time-series studies where this is not feasible; (iv) embedding process evaluations within evaluations and employing both quantitative and qualitative methods; and (v) considering how a new intervention with evidence of effectiveness can be scaled up to ensure a population level impact that can be maintained.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.