Evaluating Services and Interventions

Qualitative methods can explore the acceptability and feasibility of delivering different forms of treatment and study design. Qualitative research can also be used to unravel the successes and failures of complex interventions in pragmatic trials and understand the contextual factors that are necessary to implement and sustain changes in routine healthcare settings.

For example, QUAHRC members support process evaluations in clinical trials and programme grants that generate contextualised understandings of how day-treatment for people with severe anorexia (DAISIES) and Recovery Colleges for people with mental health problems (RECOLLECT) induce change. In WHELD, a 5-year research programme aimed at improving key mental health outcomes and reducing antipsychotic use among people with dementia in care homes, focus groups with staff at different stages of the research process helped us to understand how training and support interventions could help overcome low staff morale, workplace pressures and research scepticism to translate effective nonpharmacological therapies into widespread practice (Lawrence et al., 2016).

Examples of research projects that use qualitative research to evaluate services and therapeutic interventions by exploring the experiences and perspectives of service users, families and practitioners can be found below: