Understanding the implementation of complex interventions in health care: The normalization process model

Carl May*, Tracy Finch, Frances Mair, Luciana Ballini, Christopher Dowrick, Martin Eccles, Linda Gask, Anne MacFarlane, Elizabeth Murray, Tim Rapley, Anne Rogers, Shaun Treweek, Paul Wallace, George Anderson, Jo Burns, Ben Heaven

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

302 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background. The Normalization Process Model is a theoretical model that assists in explaining the processes by which complex interventions become routinely embedded in health care practice. It offers a framework for process evaluation and also for comparative studies of complex interventions. It focuses on the factors that promote or inhibit the routine embedding of complex interventions in health care practice. Methods. A formal theory structure is used to define the model, and its internal causal relations and mechanisms. The model is broken down to show that it is consistent and adequate in generating accurate description, systematic explanation, and the production of rational knowledge claims about the workability and integration of complex interventions. Results. The model explains the normalization of complex interventions by reference to four factors demonstrated to promote or inhibit the operationalization and embedding of complex interventions (interactional workability, relational integration, skill-set workability, and contextual integration). Conclusion. The model is consistent and adequate. Repeated calls for theoretically sound process evaluations in randomized controlled trials of complex interventions, and policy-makers who call for a proper understanding of implementation processes, emphasize the value of conceptual tools like the Normalization Process Model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number148
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Sep 2007

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