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

Lookup NU author(s): Christine May, Dr Tracy Finch, Professor Martin Eccles, Dr Tim Rapley, Dr Ben Heaven



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. © 2007 May et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): May C, Finch T, Mair F, Ballini L, Dowrick C, Eccles M, Gask L, MacFarlane A, Murray E, Rapley T, Rogers A, Treweek S, Wallace P, Anderson G, Burns J, Heaven B

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BMC Health Services Research

Year: 2007

Volume: 7

Issue: 148

Pages: 7

Print publication date: 01/01/2007

ISSN (electronic): 1472-6963

Publisher: BioMed Central


DOI: 10.1186/1472-6963-7-148

PubMed id: 17880693


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