Establishing an updated consensus on the conceptual and operational definitions of Making Every Contact Count (MECC) across experts within research and practice internationally: a Delphi Study

Bethany Nichol*, Emma Kemp, Rob Wilson, Angela M. Rodrigues, Hannah Hesselgreaves, Craig Robson, Catherine Haighton

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives
The Making Every Contact Count (MECC) initiative is broadly defined as an opportunistic approach to prevention by making use of the thousands of conversations service providers have with service users every day. However, since its conception, the application of MECC has diverged and developed considerably. Thus, the current study aimed to revise the definition according to current research and practice to better describe what is and is not included.

Study design
A consensus building classic Delphi methodology, completed by an expert panel.

Methods
Round one asked open questions around the definition of MECC. Content analysis of round one identified statements that were rated for agreement in round two. Statements achieving >80%agreement were included in a short, long, or operational definition of MECC that were rated for agreement in round three (the minimum number required). An agreement of >80% indicated consensus.

Results
Forty out of 100 contacted experts completed three rounds. Experts in practice and research were recruited internationally although most were from England. From round one, 274 statements were generated, of which 96 achieved consensus and were included within round three. The short and long definition received consensus in round three, the operational definition required four rounds toreach consensus.

Conclusions
MECC is a person-centred approach to health behaviour change that, provided an individual possesses the relevant skills, can be delivered by anyone and anywhere. The distinguishing feature of MECC is not in its duration, target behaviour, or conditions for delivery, but rather in the approach taken and the mechanisms applied to conversations. Implications for research and practice are discussed, and the limits for applicability acknowledged.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Health
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 24 Jan 2024

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