Methods for capturing and analyzing adaptations: implications for implementation research

Implement Sci. 2022 Jul 29;17(1):51. doi: 10.1186/s13012-022-01218-3.

Abstract

Background: Interventions are often adapted; some adaptations may provoke more favorable outcomes, whereas some may not. A better understanding of the adaptations and their intended goals may elucidate which adaptations produce better outcomes. Improved methods are needed to better capture and characterize the impact of intervention adaptations.

Methods: We used multiple data collection and analytic methods to characterize adaptations made by practices participating in a hybrid effectiveness-implementation study of a complex, multicomponent diabetes intervention. Data collection methods to identify adaptations included interviews, observations, and facilitator sessions resulting in transcripts, templated notes, and field notes. Adaptations gleaned from these sources were reduced and combined; then, their components were cataloged according to the framework for reporting adaptations and modifications to evidence-based interventions (FRAME). Analytic methods to characterize adaptations included a co-occurrence table, statistically based k-means clustering, and a taxonomic analysis.

Results: We found that (1) different data collection methods elicited more overall adaptations, (2) multiple data collection methods provided understanding of the components of and reasons for adaptation, and (3) analytic methods revealed ways that adaptation components cluster together in unique patterns producing adaptation "types." These types may be useful for understanding how the "who, what, how, and why" of adaptations may fit together and for analyzing with outcome data to determine if the adaptations produce more favorable outcomes rather than by adaptation components individually.

Conclusion: Adaptations were prevalent and discoverable through different methods. Enhancing methods to describe adaptations may better illuminate what works in providing improved intervention fit within context.

Trial registration: This trial is registered on clinicaltrials.gov under Trial number NCT03590041 , posted July 18, 2018.

Keywords: Adaptation; Implementation fidelity; Qualitative methods; Shared medical appointments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus*
  • Humans

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT03590041