Feasibility studies of complex public health interventions: development of guidance for researchers and funders

The project examines current practice and expert consensus in relation to feasibility studies, which address key uncertainties in the design and conduct of evaluations of complex public health interventions. The project aims to produce guidance that will assist researchers to more efficiently and effectively develop and conduct feasibility studies, while providing peer reviewers and research funders with objective criteria against which to assess the quality of bids and publications.

The guidance is being developed through activities which include:

  • a systematic review of guidance on exploratory studies
  • an audit of current practice
  • a web-based DELPHI exercise to identify expert consensus on the purpose, design and conduct of exploratory studies involving consultation with stakeholders, and
  • a horizon scan of novel approaches to intervention optimisation and exploratory study designs from other contexts within and outside health research.

The project involves collaboration with DECIPHer and the Centre for Trials Research at Cardiff University.

This work is funded by the Medical Research Council Methodology Research Panel and also by core funding.


Moore, L. , Hallingberg, B., Wight, D. , Turley, R., Segrott, J., Craig, P. , Robling, M., Murphy, S., Simpson, S. M. and Moore, G. (2018) Exploratory studies to inform full-scale evaluations of complex public health interventions: the need for guidance. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 72(10), pp. 865-866. (doi: 10.1136/jech-2017-210414) (PMID:30030296) (PMCID:PMC6161652)

Hallingberg, B., Turley, R., Segrott, J., Wight, D. , Craig, P. , Moore, L. , Murphy, S., Robling, M., Simpson, S. and Moore, G. (2018) Exploratory studies to decide whether and how to proceed with full-scale evaluations of public health interventions: a systematic review of guidance. Pilot and Feasibility Studies, 4, 104. (doi: 10.1186/s40814-018-0290-8) (PMID:29854417) (PMCID:PMC5971430)

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