CaHRU/LIH Improvement Science and Research Methods Seminar July 2019: Assessing the applicability and transferability of interventions to alternative settings

The July research seminar from the Community and Health Research Unit and the Lincoln Institute for Health was given by Laura Simmons, PhD student at CaHRU and the LIH. The seminar took place on Tuesday 16th July 2019 at the Sarah Swift Building.

Laura spoke about the process of assessing the applicability and transferability of interventions to alternative settings, where applicability is “the extent to which the intervention process could be implemented in another setting” and transferability, “the extent to which the measured effectiveness of an applicability intervention could be achieved in another setting”. This was shown to be important because systematic reviews are useful to collate and evaluate evidence of effective interventions but researchers need to assess how these interventions can be applied to different settings.

Laura presented the framework from Wang, Moss and Hillier (2005) to assess applicability, which takes into account the local political, educational and cultural environment, acceptability to the public, organisational motivation, capability and barriers, and the availability of resources and training. The assessment of transferability from the same authors takes into account the following: the baseline prevalence of the health problem, its importance in the local setting and the difference in prevalence between the study setting and the local setting; the comparability of characteristics in the target population between the study setting and the local setting; the effect of characteristics of the target population, such as ethnicity, socioeconomic status, educational level, on the intervention; and finally the capacity to implement the intervention in new compared to the study setting with regards to political environment, social acceptability, resources, organizational structure and the skills of the local providers.

Laura drew on her experience of using this method in her work on interventions to reduce sickness absence amongst healthcare workers, whilst reflecting on the advantages and disadvantages using the method in practice.

 

 

Prof Niro Siriwardena

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