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Table 2 Overview of descriptive themes, criteria, and sub-criteria

From: Criteria for evaluating transferability of health interventions: a systematic review and thematic synthesis

Higher-order theme:
1. Criteria of the population in the primary and target context
Descriptive theme:
 1.1 The population characteristics in the primary and target context in terms of the following:
 Criteria:
 …the epidemiologic characteristics [7,8,9,10, 17, 25, 39, 41, 46, 52, 53, 63, 67,68,69,70,71,72]
 …sociodemographic characteristics [7,8,9,10, 25, 37,38,39, 46, 52, 53, 55, 56, 67,68,69,70,71]
 …the cultural/social (including individual) characteristics [8,9,10, 25, 37,38,39, 41, 46, 52, 53, 55, 67, 69, 71]
 …cognitive characteristics [8,9,10, 25, 52]
 …socio-educational characteristics [8,9,10, 25, 37, 52, 55]
 Descriptive theme:
 1.2 The population’s perceptions of health and health services in the primary and target context in terms of the following:
 Criteria:
 …the health needs (regarding the health problem) [7,8,9, 41, 46, 52, 53, 55, 67]
 …the cooperation between providers and recipients [9, 25, 37, 46, 47, 50, 52, 72]
 Descriptive theme:
 1.3 The population’s attitude towards the intervention in the primary and target context in terms of the following:
 Criteria:
 …the population demand for the intervention [9, 17, 37, 55, 69]
 …the acceptability of the intervention [7,8,9,10, 25, 40, 47, 52, 55, 69]
 …the motivation [8, 9, 17, 25, 46]
Higher-order theme:
2. Criteria of the intervention in the primary and target context
 Descriptive theme:
 2.1 Characteristics of the evidence base for comparison of primary and target context in terms of the following:
 Criterion:
 …utility/usefulness of primary evidence particularly with regard to the following:
 Sub-criteria:
  • Level of transfer [7, 8, 16, 17, 26, 38, 39, 41, 45, 46, 56, 64]
  • Clearness and relevance of the research question/problem for decision-making [7, 40, 73]
  • Detailed description and relevance of the population/sample for decision-making [25, 37, 45, 48, 72, 73]
  • Relevance of the outcome measurement for the target population and environment [7, 37, 49, 73]
  • Up-to-dateness of the intervention and relevance of the results for decision-making [7, 8, 10, 17, 25, 37, 39, 40, 53, 64, 72, 73]
  • (Anticipated) Applicability of the intervention to the target population/groups and setting [7, 8, 10, 37, 39, 40, 74]
  • Sufficient description of environmental conditions, processes, results, and the intervention [7, 9, 10, 17, 18, 25, 26, 37,38,39,40, 45, 47, 48, 55, 56, 68, 73]
  • Availability of documents and tools [8, 9, 17, 46, 47]
 Criterion:
 …quality of primary evidence particularly with regard to the following:
 Sub-criteria:
  • Number of studies on the intervention and consistency of the results [7, 16, 37, 39, 48, 64, 69, 73, 75]
  • Study design/study type and appropriateness for the research question [7, 8, 37,38,39, 41, 48, 53, 69, 72, 73]
  • Appropriateness of sampling according to the study design [7, 8, 16, 25, 37, 48, 63, 72, 73]
  • Ethical considerations [8, 16, 48, 73]
  • Appropriateness and rigor of measurement/data collection, assessed in accordance with the study design [7, 16, 37, 48, 53, 73, 75]
  • Appropriateness and rigor of evaluation/data analysis, assessed in accordance with the study design [8, 16, 25, 37,38,39, 48, 53, 73]
  • Bias and/or confounding under consideration of the study design [16, 37, 41, 69, 72, 73]
  • Appropriateness of interpretation of the results, e.g., of statistical tests/quantitative analyses, and presentation of the results [7, 8, 10, 16, 25, 37, 45, 72, 73, 75]
  • Generalizability/external validity [7, 8, 10, 16, 17, 25, 37, 39, 45, 46, 48, 72,73,74]
  • Level of evidence and/or grade of recommendation for adoption [16, 37, 69, 72, 73]
 Descriptive theme:
 2.2 Characteristics of the intervention content in the primary and target context in terms of the following:
 Criterion:
 …the conception of the intervention in the primary and target context particularly with regard to the following:
 Sub-criteria:
  • The complexity/character of the intervention [7,8,9,10, 16, 18, 26, 37,38,39, 45, 52, 53, 56, 60]
  • Theoretical foundations or model and/or principles/methods and components [8, 9, 37,38,39,40, 47, 48, 53]
  • The action plan for the transfer process [7,8,9,10, 37, 38, 47, 52]
  • Tools and materials [9, 40, 47]
  • Scale/reach and duration of the intervention [8, 9, 38, 45, 52, 67]
  • Costs of the intervention [7, 8, 25, 38, 45, 52, 55, 67, 69, 73, 75]
 Criterion:
 …the possibility of adaptations [7,8,9, 26, 38, 40, 45,46,47, 52, 53, 55, 56, 64, 68, 70] by keeping the primary intervention’s fundamental nature and intervention fidelity [7,8,9, 16, 17, 25, 38, 40, 45,46,47, 53, 56, 68, 70] particularly with regard to the following:
 Sub-criteria:
  • Identification of transferable core elements/key functions [17, 46, 47, 52,53,54,55,56]
  • Identification of elements which are not transferable or need modification [46, 56]
  • Adaptation/modification of the specific form of the intervention [7, 8, 38, 40, 46, 47, 53, 55, 56, 64, 68, 70]
Higher-order theme:
3. Criteria of the environment in the primary and target context
 Descriptive theme:
 3.1 Characteristics of policy and legislation in the primary and target context in terms of the following:
 Criteria:
 …national policy and political programs [7, 8, 18, 38, 50, 56, 71]
 …political climate and will [7, 10, 37, 38, 60, 64, 69]
 …local policy [7, 8, 18, 37, 39, 56]
 …legislation relevant to transferability of the intervention [18, 75]
 Descriptive theme:
 3.2 Characteristics of coordination players in the primary and target context in terms of the following:
 Criteria:
 …types of partners, networks, and their (formal or informal) involvement [9, 16, 18, 37, 38, 40, 45,46,47, 49, 50, 52, 56]
 …different personal and professional interests of stakeholders [8, 16, 18, 25, 37, 40, 56, 60]
 Descriptive theme:
 3.3 Characteristics of the health care system and service provision in the primary and target context in terms of the following:
 Criterion:
 …the structure of the health care system and inherent services particularly with regard to the following:
 Sub-criteria:
  • Organization [17, 18, 25, 38, 50, 52, 68, 70, 71, 75]
  • Financing system [8, 18, 26, 38, 41, 69, 71]
  • Alternative interventions available [8, 17, 25, 69]
 Criterion:
 …conditions of health service provision particularly with regard to the following:
 Sub-criteria:
  • Usual care conditions and treatment as usual [7, 8, 16, 17, 25, 38, 41, 46, 47, 53, 55, 69]
  • Professional expertise regarding the health problem and the new intervention [8,9,10, 16, 25, 26, 38, 39, 45, 47, 52, 68,69,70]
  • Financial resources and conditions of intervention funding [7, 9, 18, 25, 38, 46, 52, 56, 64, 68, 70, 71, 75]
  • Resources for intervention delivery (availability and need) [7,8,9,10, 16, 25, 37, 39,40,41, 45, 47, 52, 53, 55, 68,69,70, 75]
  • Accessibility of the intervention [8,9,10, 25, 37, 38, 41, 45, 47, 52, 55, 69]
 Descriptive theme:
 3.4 Characteristics of the local and organizational setting in the primary and target context in terms of the following:
 Criteria:
 …physical and structural environmental conditions [18, 39, 47, 52, 64, 71]
 …current existence of synergistic or antagonistic interventions [7,8,9, 17]
 …the social/cultural local and/or organizational climate [8,9,10, 18, 25, 38,39,40, 52, 64]
 …the general organizational structure and practice [9, 10, 16, 18, 25, 38, 39, 45, 52]
 …awareness of the intervention and readiness with regard to pre-existing and durable organizational (including political) will for intervention transfer [9, 18, 40, 46, 52, 60]
 …decision-makers’/leaders’ positive perception of the intervention and its importance/priority, their skills, status, and latitude for action [7, 9, 17, 18, 25, 37, 38, 40, 52, 60, 69]
 Criterion:
 …support of decision-makers/leaders and (institutional and/or centralized) management [9, 38, 40, 47, 52, 60, 69] particularly with regard to the following:
 Sub-criteria:
  • Adaptation of the intervention to the target group [9, 52, 60]
  • Implementation of the intervention [9, 40, 47, 52, 60]
  • Providing expertise, supervision, assistance, and help [38, 40, 60]
  • Sustaining professionals’ motivation for involvement and action [40, 60]
 Criterion:
 …providers’ (professionals’) perception and support of the intervention particularly with regard to the following:
 Sub-criteria:
  • Need, utility, priority/importance, and effectiveness [8, 9, 40, 46, 52, 69]
  • Acceptance/acceptability [7, 9, 25, 38, 40, 52, 55, 60]
  • Financial, scientific, and/or professional interest [8, 9, 60]
  • Motivation and engagement [8, 9, 17, 18, 25, 40, 47, 52, 69]
Higher-order theme:
4. Criteria of transfer from the primary to the target context
 Descriptive theme:
 4.1 Characteristics of communication in the target context in comparison to the primary context in terms of the following:
 Criterion:
 …overall communication by leaders for the coordination of an intervention particularly with regard to the following:
 Sub-criteria:
  • Goals, a clear structure, and expectations [40, 52, 55, 60]
  • Management of data flow [40, 47, 49, 52]
  • (Program) Meetings [40, 47, 49, 60]
  • Providing results to stakeholders [16, 40, 47, 49, 52, 60]
 Criterion:
 …quality of communication in multidisciplinary work and in teams particularly with regard to the following:
 Sub-criteria:
  • Relation dynamics of stakeholders involved in the process [18, 40, 47, 52, 60]
  • Defined and clear roles [40, 47, 60, 75]
  • Skills for working together [18, 40, 60]
  • Information exchange [18, 40, 60, 75]
 Descriptive theme:
 4.2 Characteristics of knowledge transfer in the target context in comparison to the primary context in terms of the following:
 Criterion:
 …existence of a ‘knowledge translation’ process for the intervention particularly with regard to the following:
 Sub-criteria:
  • Support from (trained) specialists [9, 40, 46, 52, 53]
  • Training of providers/ professionals [8,9,10, 38, 40, 46, 47, 52, 53, 68, 70]
  • Knowledge for maintaining the (essential) core elements of the intervention (fidelity) while enabling adaptation to context (flexibility) [17, 27, 46, 47, 53]
  • Links for knowledge exchange between researchers and stakeholders of the target context [9, 10, 26, 37, 38, 46, 50, 52, 56, 60]
 Descriptive theme:
 4.3 Characteristics of adoption and implementation in the target context in comparison to the primary context in terms of the following:
 Criteria:
 …strategies to reach, mobilize, and engage the target population depending on characteristics of the recipients [8,9,10, 38, 46, 47, 49, 52, 55]
 …strategies to reach and involve different stakeholders from the beginning [8,9,10, 18, 40, 46, 47, 50, 52, 55, 60]
 …identification and addressing of implementation barriers and facilitators [18, 39, 40, 45,46,47, 52, 53]
 …strategies of service delivery/intervention delivery [37, 40, 47, 52, 55]
 …successful pilot-testing of the intervention [37, 47, 52, 53, 55]
 …possibility of adaptations throughout the intervention’s process, i.e., of the implementation process and/or intervention form by keeping essential (core) elements [9, 39, 40, 52, 56]
 Descriptive theme:
 4.4 Characteristics of the evaluation in the target context in comparison to the primary context in terms of the following:
 Criteria:
 …evaluation/study design [8, 16, 26, 37, 45, 47, 53]
 …kind of assessment of processes and outcomes for measuring intervention success [8, 16, 18, 26, 40, 47, 49, 53]
 …similarity of determination of effects of the primary and replicated intervention [8, 53, 68, 70]
 Criterion:
 …continuity and quality of evaluation throughout the transfer process particularly with regard to the following:
 Sub-criteria:
  • Kind and validity of information of the target context [10, 38, 39]
  • Validity and reliability of measures [37, 40, 49]
  • Continuity of monitoring and measuring success throughout the process [9, 37, 38, 47, 49, 52, 53, 56]
 Descriptive theme:
 4.5 Characteristics of sustainability in the target context in comparison to the primary context in terms of the following:
 Criterion:
 …sustainability particularly with regard to the following:
 Sub-criteria:
  • Intervention outcomes [7, 16, 39, 53]
  • Change of current practice/stability and sustainability of implementation [7, 37, 39, 52, 53]
  • Key factors in intervention success [17, 37, 47]
  • Stability of financing [46, 53, 56]
  1. Descriptive themes and criteria underlie the higher-order themes population, intervention, environment, and transfer, which are numbered from 1 to 4. The descriptive themes are numbered after each higher-order theme to facilitate the attribution to the higher-order theme. All criteria of transferability of health interventions relate to specific descriptive themes. Sub-criteria characterize a criterion in the form of specific aspects relevant to transferability