USING REALISTIC REVIEW METHODOLOGY TO INVESTIGATE DIGITAL HEALTH INTERVENTIONS FOR MANAGING LONG-TERM CONDITIONS

INITIATOR FUND 

Project period: February – June 2019 

GW4 community leads 
University of Bath: Matthew Jones, Charlotte Dack 
University of Bristol:  Sabrina Grant 
Cardiff University: Judith Carrier (PI), Emma Lane, Valerie Sparkes, Roser BeneitoMontagut 

Project overview 

Digital health interventions to support people with long-term conditions, what works, for whom, in what circumstances? 

Background 

This proposal is contextualized by debates around “digital health” and limited evidence about effectiveness of digital health interventions (DHIs) to manage long-term conditions (LTCs), this links with GW4 Grand Challenge areas ‘Living in a digital world, and ‘Health, demographic change and wellbeing’. DHIs have potential to transform service user experience and delivery, offering more efficient healthcare management.  

The complexity of human health and wellbeing, compounded by the complexity of current DHIs demands multidisciplinary research expertise to attend to the challenge, addressing health delivery, technology design, social implications of technology use and adoption, management of treatments, behavioural change and policy impact. The team have established links to diverse service user and digital health research groups. The team will use realist synthesis methodology to discover ‘what works’, ‘for whom’ and ‘In what circumstances’ in relation to DHIs and LTCs. 

Project summary 

Over the Initiator grant the community grew and strengthened its collaborations with experts from GW4 and other universities, building a diverse network of academics. The community was also able to build firm links with 2 PPI groups in Cardiff and Bristol. A number of stakeholder and PPI events helped scope and refine the community’s research ideas, which are now being developed into grant applications and publications.  

Community site (GW4 Portal)