In a recent paper in BMC Medical Research Methodology, Dr Susan Baxter and colleagues from ScHARR Public Health reported on a novel approach to evidence synthesis for complex interventions using logic models.
Traditional systematic reviews set out to collate and analyse all the evidence on a specific research area or research question, often to address a particular policy or practice question. However this can tend to result in oversimplification, particularly when applied to complex interventions which are context-dependent and are characterised by multiple pathways and multiple behaviours.
Logic models are a systematic way of graphically diagramming the “if-then” relationships between elements of a program such as a complex intervention. Dr Baxter and colleagues developed an evidence-based logic model to illustrate how interventions for demand management operate.
The authors conclude that “The logic model details evidence and assumptions underpinning the complex pathway from interventions to demand management impact. The method offers a useful addition to systematic review methodologies.”