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Table 8 Key whole-of-intervention strategies, context, mechanisms and impacts

From: What can we learn from interventions that aim to increase policy-makers’ capacity to use research? A realist scoping review

Intervention strategies Contextual factors Hypothesised mechanisms Potential process effects/outcomesa
Local tailoring based on needs/situational analysis [41, 102, 131, 133, 134] Each intervention site has unique features that interact with the implemented strategies [79] Policy-makers have existing strengths and skills; their needs will vary • Tailoring based on high quality needs/situational analysis maximises intervention compatibility, including its ability to build on local strengths and tackle areas of real need
• Where participants collaborate in tailoring they feel respected/heard and have increased ownership of and investment in the intervention outcomes
• Greater acceptance of the intervention’s local fit and utility
• Active support of the intervention and its goals
Using multiple strategies to target different forms and levels of capacity [41, 101,102,103,104, 106, 110, 127,128,129,130,131, 133, 134, 137, 138] Research use is multi-factorial Capacity exists in different forms and at different levels (individual, interpersonal, organisational and wider environmental); supports and constraints in one area or at one level affect responses in others • Strengthened capacity in one area supports capacity growth in other areas
• Strategies interact synergistically to shape a conducive environment for research use
• Greater, and more sustainable, change in using research
  1. aThese outcomes are speculative: there was no clear evidence of outcomes relating to these strategies in the studies