Research Practice and Methodology

Collection of articles on Research Practice and Methodology is available here.
Designing process evaluations using case study to explore the context of complex interventions evaluated in trials.
Access if not affiliated with University of Alberta

A. Grant, C. Bugge and M. Wells.
Trials 2020 Nov 27;21(1):982-020-04880-4
Process evaluations are an important component of an effectiveness evaluation as they focus on understanding the relationship between interventions and context to explain how and why interventions work or fail, and whether they can be transferred to other settings and populations. However, historically, context has not been sufficiently explored and reported resulting in the poor uptake of trial results. Therefore, suitable methodologies are needed to guide the investigation of context. Case study is one appropriate methodology, but there is little guidance about what case study design can offer the study of context in trials. We address this gap in the literature by presenting a number of important considerations for process evaluation using a case study design. MAIN TEXT: In this paper, we define context, the relationship between complex interventions and context, and describe case study design methodology. A well-designed process evaluation using case study should consider the following core components: the purpose; definition of the intervention; the trial design, the case, the theories or logic models underpinning the intervention, the sampling approach and the conceptual or theoretical framework. We describe each of these in detail and highlight with examples from recently published process evaluations. CONCLUSIONS: There are a number of approaches to process evaluation design in the literature; however, there is a paucity of research on what case study design can offer process evaluations. We argue that case study is one of the best research designs to underpin process evaluations, to capture the dynamic and complex relationship between intervention and context during implementation. We provide a comprehensive overview of the issues for process evaluation design to consider when using a case study design. TRIAL REGISTRATION: DQIP – number, NCT01425502 – OPAL – ISRCTN57746448.

Factors related to the international research collaboration in the health area: A qualitative study.
Access if not affiliated with University of Alberta

R. Moradi, A. Zargham-Boroujeni and M. R. Soleymani.
J Educ Health Promot 2020 Oct 30;9:267
International research collaboration (IRC) is known as one of the important indicators of productivity, efficiency, and validity of universities in the world. In other words, IRC is necessary for the scientific trade-off between researchers in international scientific societies. The study aimed to address the experiences of an academic researcher about factors related to IRC. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The present study was conducted using a qualitative approach and conventional content analysis method. The participants consisted of 19 experienced faculty members and researchers from Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, who were selected based on the purposive and snowball sampling techniques. Data were collected through semi-structured interviews and were analyzed using the content analysis technique. Guba and Lincoln’s evaluative criteria, including credibility, confirmability, dependability, and transferability, were applied to evaluate the trustworthiness of the study. RESULTS: According to the research findings, factors of “personal skills,” “personality,” “professional position,” and “scientific activities” under the category of personal factors; “rules and regulations” and “equipment and facilities” under the organizational factors; and “domestic policies” and “foreign policies” were identified under the government factors category. CONCLUSION: Research collaborations are influenced by individual, intra-academic, and extra-academic factors; thus, research policymakers can help further to enhance the quantity and quality of scientific output and promote the university’s placing in international rankings through providing conditions that enable international interactions.

Barriers and facilitators of clinician and researcher collaborations: a qualitative study.
Access if not affiliated with University of Alberta

J. Williams, T. J. Craig and D. Robson.
BMC Health Serv Res 2020 Dec 5;20(1):1126-020-05978-w
The poor translation of research findings into routine clinical practice is common in all areas of healthcare. Having a better understanding of how researchers and clinicians experience engagement in and with research, their working relationships and expectations of each other, may be one way to help to facilitate collaborative partnerships and therefore increase successful translation of research into clinical practice. AIMS: To explore the views of clinical and research staff about their experiences of working together during research projects and identify the facilitators and barriers. METHODS: We conducted four focus groups with 18 participants – clinicians, researchers and those with a dual clinical-research role, recruited from one mental health Trust and one university. Data was analysed using thematic analysis. RESULTS: Eight themes were identified under the headings of two research questions 1) Barriers and facilitators of either engaging in or with research from the perspective of clinical staff, with themes of understanding the benefits of the research; perceived knowledge and personal qualities of researchers; lack of time and organisational support to be involved in and implement research; and lack of feedback about progress and outcome of research. 2) Barriers and facilitators for engaging with clinicians when conducting research, from the perspective of researchers, with themes of understanding what clinicians need to know and how they need to feel to engage with research; demonstrating an understanding of the clinician’s world; navigating through the clinical world; and demands of the researcher role. CONCLUSION: There was agreement between clinicians and researchers about the barriers and facilitators for engaging clinicians in research. Both groups identified that it was the researcher’s responsibility to form and maintain good working relationships. Better support for researchers in their role calls for training in communication skills and bespoke training to understand the local context in which research is taking place.