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Dimensions of the Complexity of Health Interventions: What Are We Talking about? A Review

Abstract : Many recommendations and innovative approaches are available for the development and evaluation of complex health interventions. We investigated the dimensions of complexity described in health research and how these descriptions may affect the adopted research methodology (e.g., the choice of designs and methods). We used a mixed method approach to review the scientific literature evaluating complex interventions in the health field. Of 438 articles identified, 179 were subjected to descriptive analysis and 48 to content analysis. The three principal dimensions of complexity were: stakeholder characteristics, intervention multimodality and context. Recognition of such dimensions influenced the methodological choices made during evaluation of the interventions with their use of designs and methods, which aimed to address the complexity. We analysed not only how researchers view complexity but also the effects of such views on researcher practices. Our results highlight the need for clarification of what complexity means and to consider complexity when deciding how to evaluate research interventions.
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Contributor : Joëlle Kivits <>
Submitted on : Friday, September 11, 2020 - 3:42:10 PM
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Justine Trompette, Joëlle Kivits, Laetitia Minary, François Alla. Dimensions of the Complexity of Health Interventions: What Are We Talking about? A Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, MDPI, 2020, 17 (9), pp.3069. ⟨10.3390/ijerph17093069⟩. ⟨hal-02936694⟩