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Intervention Component Analysis (ICA): a pragmatic approach for identifying the critical features of complex interventions

Sutcliffe, K; Thomas, J; Stokes, G; Hinds, K; Bangpan, M; (2015) Intervention Component Analysis (ICA): a pragmatic approach for identifying the critical features of complex interventions. Systematic Reviews , 4 , Article 140. 10.1186/s13643-015-0126-z. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: In order to enable replication of effective complex interventions, systematic reviews need to provide evidence about their critical features and clear procedural details for their implementation. Currently, few systematic reviews provide sufficient guidance of this sort. / Methods: Through a worked example, this paper reports on a methodological approach, Intervention Component Analysis (ICA), specifically developed to bridge the gap between evidence of effectiveness and practical implementation of interventions. By (a) using an inductive approach to explore the nature of intervention features and (b) making use of trialists’ informally reported experience-based evidence, the approach is designed to overcome the deficiencies of poor reporting which often hinders knowledge translation work whilst also avoiding the need to invest significant amounts of time and resources in following up details with authors. / Results: A key strength of the approach is its ability to reveal hidden or overlooked intervention features and barriers and facilitators only identified in practical application of interventions. It is thus especially useful where hypothesised mechanisms in an existing programme theory have failed. A further benefit of the approach is its ability to identify potentially new configurations of components that have not yet been evaluated. / Conclusions: ICA is a formal and rigorous yet relatively streamlined approach to identify key intervention content and implementation processes. ICA addresses a critical need for knowledge translation around complex interventions to support policy decisions and evidence implementation.

Type: Article
Title: Intervention Component Analysis (ICA): a pragmatic approach for identifying the critical features of complex interventions
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s13643-015-0126-z
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13643-015-0126-z
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © Sutcliffe et al. 2015. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: Systematic reviews, Evidence synthesis, Complex interventions, Knowledge translation, Paediatrics, Medication error, Electronic prescribing
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10068048
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