Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions

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In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the volume of funding to develop and evaluate public health interventions, and associated research capacity. However, research on complex interventions which seek to bring about sustained improvements in population health remains hugely challenging. To meet this challenge we will undertake the following:

  • Build multidisciplinary teams to develop and evaluate interventions that are based on a sound understanding of mechanisms of change, which may be multilevel and non-linear;
  • Drive the development of strongly theorised interventions and the assessment of their feasibility and acceptability to ensure that large scale evaluations are not conducted prematurely;
  • Improve methods for feasibility studies, as well as for the subsequent effectiveness evaluation;
  • Identify and develop new ways of working with policy-makers to maximise the opportunities to evaluate population-level policies and programmes which may have substantial health impacts.

Current Focus:

In the theme there are two key areas of focus; 1) methods development and translation and 2) providing methodological support and expertise to the development and evaluation of complex intervention studies. In collaboration with the Unit’s Population Health Research Facility, we are developing world-class capacity in the design, conduct and delivery of realist mixed-methods evaluations of the effectiveness of complex interventions in community settings. This is a resource not only for local partnerships and colleagues, but also for any investigator seeking collaboration and support to successfully plan and deliver high-quality studies.

Current key areas of focus include obesity, mental health, alcohol and substance use, eHealth (healthcare practices that rely on electronic media) and mHealth (healthcare practices that rely on mobile). 

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