BMJ Open | VOL. 12

A search for relevant contextual factors in intervention studies: a stepwise approach with online information

Publication Date Sep 1, 2022


ObjectiveThe aim of the present study is to describe a stepwise approach to study which contextual factors might moderate the effect of healthcare interventions and to test feasibility of this approach within the D-SCOPE project.DesignExploratory case study.SettingIn the D-SCOPE project, a complex intervention by means of home visits was set up to improve access to tailored care in three municipalities (Ghent, Knokke-Heist and Tienen).MethodsOne designed and tested an approach including five steps: (1) a theoretical/conceptual discussion of relevant contextual factor domains was held; (2) a search was done to find appropriate web-based public datasets which covered these topics with standardised information; (3) a list of all identified contextual factors was made (inventory); (4) to reduce the long list of contextual factors, a concise list of most relevant contextual factors was developed based on the opinion of two independent reviewers and (5) a nominal grouping technique (NGT) was applied.ResultsThree public web-based datasets were found resulting in an inventory of 157 contextual factors. After the selection by two independent reviewers, 41 contextual factors were left over and presented in a NGT which selected 10 contextual factors. The NGT included seven researchers, all familiar with the D-SCOPE intervention, with various educational backgrounds and expertise and lasted approximately 1 hour.ConclusionThe present study shows that a five-step approach is feasible to determine relevant contextual factors that might aff...


Relevant Contextual Factors Contextual Factors Five-step Approach Relevant Factors Independent Reviewers Complex Intervention Stepwise Approach Online Information Educational Backgrounds Public Datasets

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No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors. The conception and design of the study, acquisition of data, analysis and interpretatio...

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