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AIMS

The TRIPLE C study aims to:

  1. Analyse the contribution of case study methods to our understanding of contextual influences on complex interventions in health systems and public health research
  2. Consult case study experts to develop and publish guidance on the design, conduct, analysis and reporting of case studies for use in health systems and public health research
  3. Stimulate the development of a community of practice which will collaborate on extending and improving the use of case studies in the evaluation of complex health interventions.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT

There has been growing interest in developing research methods that support improved development and implementation in health care, and in ways that account for the contexts (communities, organisations and so on) in which complex interventions are intended. Case study research is widely recognised as offering such methods, and as a vital resource for understanding the influence of context on complex interventions.

A significant literature on case study research already exists in health services research and the social sciences. This literature has evolved out of different disciplines (e.g. psychology, sociology, management), and research traditions (e.g. qualitative or quantitative). It has yet to be interrogated in a way that can support improved development and implementation of complex interventions in health care and public health.

METHODS

Meta-narrative review: a systematic, theory-driven approach to synthesising a wide-ranging literature. This approach will help us to understand how case study methods have been differently conceptualised and used by different groups of researchers, with a focus on the relationship between context and interventions.

Having synthesised the relevant literature, the focus will then be on conducting a DELPHI survey with experts in case study research in which we will share our synthesis of the literature to stimulate reflection and work towards getting as close as possible to consensus on the use of case study when researching complex interventions.

Evolving guidance will be tested on pilot case studies, workshops and ongoing debates. We will develop methodological guidance on how to design and carry out case studies of complex interventions in health care, and publish standards for case study-based research on complex interventions.

The Triple C reporting guideline under development is now live in the EQUATOR Network website. You can visit it here.  

The TRIPLE C review is registered on PROSPERO.

FUNDING

Medical Research Council.

OXFORD RESEARCH TEAM:

Dr Sara Shaw (PI)

Prof Trish Greenhalgh

Dr Chrysanthi Papoutsi

Dr Sara Paparini

EXTERNAL COLLABORATORS

Dr Jamie Murdoch (University of East Anglia)

Prof Judith Green (King’s College London)

Prof Mark Petticrew (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine)