Mallen is NIHR Research Professor in General Practice and Director of the Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences. He leads Keele Universities Global Health Research and is Director of the Wellcome Trust Doctoral Programme for Primary Care.
Mallen trained in clinical medicine in Nottingham, completing general practice training in 2003. He has attracted research income in excess of £40 million and published in journals including the BMJ, JAMA, CMAJ and PLoS Medicine.
He has expertise in epidemiology, clinical trials and qualitative research with his research focusing on improving the diagnosis and management of musculoskeletal and mental health disorders.
Professor Mallen is a Fellow of the Royal College of General Practitioners, Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health and a Founding Fellow of the Faculty of Clinical Informatics. He is the only GP to have been awarded both the Yvonne Carter and John Fry Awards for primary care research.
Title: Complex solutions to straight forward questions? Highlighting complex interventions in primary care
Life is rarely straightforward, especially in primary care where patients are increasingly challenging to manage. An aging population and a growing reliance on the community to deliver key health services has resulted in a population where multi-morbidity is the norm rather than the exception.
Research to improve outcomes for this group can be difficult to design and conduct, especially in general practice where there may not be a strong research traditional and conventional infrastructure is lacking. Seemingly straight forward research questions can require a large multi-disciplinary team approach to provide the evidence needed to improve outcomes for patients, their families and our wider society.
Complex interventions are widely used in clinical practice – indeed very few of the interventions we use in primary care are simple! There are many other definitions of complex intervention which usually highlight interacting components and non-linear causal pathways.
This plenary lecture will approach complex interventions from a primary care perspective, using research conducted at the Institute for Primary Care and Health Sciences as examples to explore and explain the Medical Research Council Complex Intervention Framework.
Title: Designing complex interventions in primary care
Complex interventions are widely used in clinical practice – indeed very few of the interventions we use in primary care are simple! Conventionally defined as interventions with several interacting components, they present a number of special problems for evaluators, in addition to the practical and methodological difficulties that any successful evaluation must overcome. Developing, piloting, evaluating, reporting and implementing a complex intervention can be a lengthy process. All of the stages are important, and too strong a focus on the main evaluation, to the neglect of adequate development and piloting work, or proper consideration of the practical issues of implementation, will result in weaker interventions, that are harder to evaluate, less likely to be implemented and less likely to be worth implementing [MRC 2008].
By the end of this workshop participants will:
Identify the different phases of the Medical Research Council Complex Intervention Framework and have an appreciation of the importance of each phase in study design
Develop an understanding of from the perspective of people using the intervention to improve its feasibility and uptake
Design a primary care-based intervention using all phases of the complex intervention
Present your study using a complex intervention design to an expert assessment panel
This workshop will build on the previous plenary lecture ‘Complex solutions to straight forward questions? Highlighting complex interventions in primary care’. A variety of techniques will be used including mini-lectures, interactive small group work and research ‘speed dating’. Expert facilitators will be present to support participants. Handouts and other resources will be made available to participants.