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Table 2 Kazdin’s criteria for establishing a mechanism

From: A systematic review of empirical studies examining mechanisms of implementation in health

Strong associationAssociation between implementation strategy and mechanism AND between mechanism and behavior change.
SpecificityOne plausible construct accounts for behavior change.
ConsistencyReplication of observed results across studies, samples, and conditions.
Experimental manipulationDirect manipulation of implementation strategy or proposed mediator or mechanism shows impact on outcomes.
TimelineCauses and mediators temporally precede effects and outcomes.
GradientDose response relationship between mediator and outcome.
Plausibility or coherenceExplanation invokes other info and steps in a process-outcome relation that are reasonable or supported by other research.