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Table 2 Mapping of the reporting framework to three selected process evaluations

From: Process evaluations for cluster-randomised trials of complex interventions: a proposed framework for design and reporting

  Summary of trial being evaluated Clearly labelled as a process evaluation Stated purpose Processes examined Specify timing Methods used Choice of method justified Report main findings of trial
Nazareth and colleagues[30] Cluster-randomised trial of a pharmacist-led educational outreach intervention to improve GPs’ prescribing quality Yes ’To describe the steps leading to the final primary outcome and explore the effect of the intervention on each step of the hypothesised pathway of change in professionals’ prescribing behaviour’ Cluster recruitment, Delivery to clusters, Adoption and Delivery to target population, Quantitative associations with effectiveness (reported in main trial paper) Retrospective/ post hoc Reporting of proportion of practices recruited. Association between proportion of GPs in each practice attending education outreach, the intervention and change in prescribing. Mixed-methods assessment of barriers and facilitators to adoption and delivery to target population. Partly Trial design, intervention, targeted outcomes and results summarised, main trial paper referenced
Byng and colleagues[11] Cluster-randomised trial of a complex intervention to promote shared care for people with severe mental health problems Yes ’To unpick the complexity of the intervention by examining interactions between components and context and then further defining its core functions’ Adoption, Reach and Delivery to target population, Qualitative associations with effectiveness Retrospective data collection, unclear if planned prospectively Realistic evaluation, qualitative case study, analysis of interview data with a purposive sample of participating mental health team-practice cases. Case study findings were used to better understand how the intervention changed practice and targeted outcomes. Yes Trial design, intervention and results summarised, main trial paper referenced
Fretheim and colleagues[33] Cluster-randomised trial of a multifaceted intervention (educational outreach, audit and feedback, computerised reminders, patient information) to improve GPs’ prescribing quality Yes ’The main objective of this analysis was to identify factors that could explain variation in outcomes across practices’ Delivery to clusters, Adoption and Quantitative associations with effectiveness Prospective / pre-specified Quantification of GP perceptions of the intervention and the trial, and pharmacist assessment of the quality of educational outreach. Regression analysis of associations with change in prescribing. Partly Trial design, intervention, targeted outcomes and results summarised, main trial paper referenced
  1. GP, general practitioner.
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