Improvement science and research methods seminar November 2020: Complex intervention trials and studies

The November Community and Health Research Unit seminar, ‘Complex intervention trials and studies‘ was given by Drs Julie Pattinson and Elise Rowan. Julie is a postdoctoral research assistant in CaHRU with expertise in quantitative and qualitative methodologies, specifically grounded theory and interpretative phenomenological analysis; she is currently working on a major trial of sleep restruction therapy in primary care and co-leading the process evaluation for this study. Dr Elise Rowan is a Clinical Database Manager in CaHRU with expertise in managing relational databases for longitudinal studies, research data management, research ethics, clinical/surgical trial protocol development and research project management.

The seminar described complex interventions as having multiple interacting components and provided examples of the components and complexities of interactions, the different study types (e.g. individual randomised, cluster randomised and stepped wedge), and factors that should be considered when developing complex intervention trials or studies. The presentation referred to the MRC framework for complex interventions including aspects such as feasibility and piloting, development, evaluation and implementation, exploring the challenges encountered drawing on experiences from  previous and ongoing studies involving CaHRU including studies of flu and pneumococcal vaccine uptake in general practice, falls response by ambulance services (SAFER2), telemonitoring for COPD and heart disease (CHROMED) and sleep restriction therapy for insomnia in primary care (HABIT).
Finally, there was a consideration of the use of process evaluation to understand contextual factors, mechanisms of impact and future implementation of complex interventions. To listen to the seminar click here.

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