Spotlight on: Methodology

The INTERDEM Spotlight webinar series was initiated by the junior board members of INTERDEM, Esther Gerritzen and Sara Laureen Bartels, to bring together INTERDEM and INTERDEM academy members to learn across career stages and disciplines, and is organized in collaboration with INTERDEM Academy, Fania Dassen and Caitlin Hibbs.

On the 8th of March, the INTEDEM Taskforce on Methodologies brought us the second Spotlight webinar of the series. Their current focus is on the updated Medical Research Council framework for the development, evaluation, and implementation of complex interventions, which is widely used in psychosocial dementia research. In particular, the Taskforce has just received funding for a two-year project to review and reach consensus on current and future directions for methodologies used to develop, implement, and evaluate complex psycho-social interventions in dementia.

Prof Graff kicked of the session with an overview of the new Medical Research Framework and the ongoing work of the Taskforce to discuss and map methodologies used in dementia research to the stages of the MRC framework. Over 30 attendees engaged in an exercise to support the Taskforce efforts to explore and map the approaches researchers and practitioners use (see image below).

The second half the webinar included a presentation from Prof Van den Block on Theory of Change, how it is used, and its relevance to develop ‘micro-theories’ of how and why change happens when developing complex interventions in contexts like palliative care. To conclude the session, Nathan Stephens provided an overview of Social Return on Investment as a pragmatic approach to social and economic evaluation.

The post seminar feedback was constructive and reassuring that the webinar was a success and well received by those who could attend, if the box of smiley faced people wasn’t enough evidence.

Written by: Nathan Stephens