Experiences of using the Theoretical Domains Framework across diverse clinical environments: a qualitative study

J Multidiscip Healthc. 2015 Mar 18;8:139-46. doi: 10.2147/JMDH.S78458. eCollection 2015.


Background: The Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) is an integrative framework developed from a synthesis of psychological theories as a vehicle to help apply theoretical approaches to interventions aimed at behavior change.

Purpose: This study explores experiences of TDF use by professionals from multiple disciplines across diverse clinical settings.

Methods: Mixed methods were used to examine experiences, attitudes, and perspectives of health professionals in using the TDF in health care implementation projects. Individual interviews were conducted with ten health care professionals from six disciplines who used the TDF in implementation projects. Deductive content and thematic analysis were used.

Results: Three main themes and associated subthemes were identified including: 1) reasons for use of the TDF (increased confidence, broader perspective, and theoretical underpinnings); 2) challenges using the TDF (time and resources, operationalization of the TDF) and; 3) future use of the TDF.

Conclusion: The TDF provided a useful, flexible framework for a diverse group of health professionals working across different clinical settings for the assessment of barriers and targeting resources to influence behavior change for implementation projects. The development of practical tools and training or support is likely to aid the utility of TDF.

Keywords: Theoretical Domains Framework; barriers and enablers; behavioral change; evidence-based practice; health care; implementation.