Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions

The Development and Evaluation of Complex Interventions research group aims to promote and support high quality research, innovation and impact associated with the design and evaluation of complex interventions. A specific focus of the theme (though not exclusively) is social inclusion, with research activity particularly involving marginalised groups and those with complex and co-morbid needs (e.g., poor mental health, addictions, and poor physical health). Interventions may be at individual, group, organisational, community and public health level and within our work they seek to change outcomes such as lifestyle, health and wellbeing and cost-effectiveness.

The MRC (2008) laid out guidance on the topic with specific non-linear steps to consider in feasibility/pilot work, development, evaluation and implementation. The group holds and shares expertise in all these steps and in conducting process evaluation in line with more recent MRC (2015) guidance.

The group is led by Professor Adrian Taylor and members include staff from a range of disciplinary and professional backgrounds. Thus work encompasses how social factors (e.g., age, gender, SES) moderate intervention design, evaluation methods and effectiveness, and how psychological factors both moderate and mediate change (eg, in health behaviour). Complex studies supported by the Peninsula Clinical Trials Unit require careful consideration of how to recruit and retain participants. Also, the Medical Statistics and NHS Research Design Service staff, and Public and Patient Involvement groups provide expertise in things like study design, sample size calculations, data analysis, and insight into acceptability, feasibility and implementation issues.

Information on current studies can be found here: 

Engager: Developing and evaluating a collaborative care intervention for offenders with common mental health problems, near to and after release.

A systematic review of physical activity for alcohol and substance use disorders.

Development and evaluation of complex interventions research group staff