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Table 1 MRC process evaluation components (adapted from [4], with definitions in italics where provided in original)

From: Process evaluation within pragmatic randomised controlled trials: what is it, why is it done, and can we find it?—a systematic review

 Causal mechanisms present within the context that act to maintain the status quo, or enhance effects Contextual factors that shape theory of how the intervention works Contextual moderators
Shape, and may be shaped by, implementation, intervention mechanisms, and outcomes
 How much intervention is delivered
The consistency of what is implemented with the planned intervention
Alterations made to an intervention in order to achieve better contextual fit
 How delivery is achieved
 The structures, resources and mechanisms through which delivery is achieved
Extent to which target audience comes into contact with intervention
Mechanisms of impact
 Intermediate processes which explain subsequent changes in outcome
Participant responses
How participants interact with a complex intervention
Unanticipated pathways and consequences