Group of business people planning and evaluating at a table

The Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions (DECI) research group aims to promote and support high quality research, innovation and impact associated with the development and evaluation of complex interventions. We focus specifically, although not exclusively, on the theme of social inclusion. Our research activity includes working with socially and economically marginalised groups and those with complex and co-morbid health needs (e.g. poor mental health or mental wellbeing, addictions, and poor physical health). Our interventions may be aimed at an individual, group, organisational, community or public health level. These interventions seek to improve outcomes such as lifestyle, health and wellbeing and cost-effectiveness.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) (2008) laid out guidance on the development and evaluation of complex interventions with specific, non-linear, steps to consider in feasibility/pilot work, development, evaluation and implementation. Our group holds and shares expertise in all these steps and in conducting process evaluation in line with the MRC (2015) process evaluation guidance. 

The group is led by Dr Cath Quinn and members include a range of staff from multi-disciplinary and professional backgrounds. DECI’s work encompasses how social factors (e.g. age, gender, socio-economic status) moderate intervention design, evaluation methods and effectiveness, and how psychological factors both moderate and mediate change (e.g., in health behaviour). The Peninsula Clinical Trials Unit (PenCTU) supports complex studies, which require careful consideration of how to recruit and retain participants. The Medical Statistics and NHS Research Design Service staff and Public and Patient Involvement groups also provide expertise around areas such as study design, sample size calculations, data analysis, and insight into acceptability, feasibility and implementation issues.

Our 2018/9 seminar programme will include leading names in developing and evaluating complex interventions, local speakers working on DECI projects, workshops and more informal sessions.

Further information on some of our current studies: 

  • Engager: Developing and evaluating a collaborative care intervention for offenders with common mental health problems, near to and after release
  • PHASED: A systematic review of physical activity for alcohol and substance use disorders
  • PARTNERS2:  Shaping mental health care through collaboration
  • e-coachER: The effects of adding web-based coaching to an exercise referral scheme

Plymouth Institute of Health and Care Research

The Plymouth Institute of Health and Care Research (PIHR) is a thriving community that conducts adventurous world-leading research with the explicit purpose of improving the health and care of the populations we serve. 
Our work is grounded in the needs of the people of the South West and other rural, coastal, and deprived communities worldwide, but PIHR’s research has national and international reach and impact. 
Find out more about the work of PIHR
People walking and talking in a modern setting.

Development and evaluation of complex interventions research group staff

Development and evaluation of complex interventions coordinators

Plymouth Science Park