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Realist Reviews of health interventions – dealing with complexity and context

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BRADFORD HILL SEMINAR

In health care and many other fields of research, interventions are often described as being complex and have outcomes that are dependent on context. When these complex interventions fail to achieve their desired outcomes, the explanation frequently provided is because they are both complex and context dependent. Realist research approaches, such as realist reviews can help make sense of these types of interventions or programmes.

The seminar will outline the theory underlying realist approaches and the key stages in a realist review. It will then move on to discuss when doing a realist review might be most helpful and provide some illustrative examples of how realist reviews deal with complexity and context. Some time will be available for questions and discussion.

Dr Geoffrey Wong, MA MBBS MD (Res) MRCGP FHEA , is Clinical Research Fellow at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford.

This talk is part of the Bradford Hill seminars at the Cambridge Institute of Public Health series.

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