Extension and application of realist review methods

Realist approaches to evaluation and synthesis can provide a logic of inquiry for researching policy and practice, and provide contextualised understanding of the mechanisms that underlie complex processes. We aim to develop realist research methods ‘at the sharp end of practice’ by doing realist evaluation and synthesis in projects of high-relevance to stakeholders and decision-makers. We do this particularly in relation to health service design, the development and implementation of complex interventions in health care, and knowledge mobilisation in health and social care.

We promote understanding of realist approaches and facilitate debate and methodological development through our ‘Realist Hive’ blog and discussion group.

Ongoing projects include:
The effectiveness and cost effectiveness of shared care for long term conditions: A realist review. Protocol

Developing a collaborative care intervention for prisoners with common mental health problems, near to and after release (Engager II): A realist review. Protocol

Understanding how appraisal of doctors produces its effects: a realist review. Protocol

Pearson, M., Hunt, H., Cooper, C., Sheppard, S., Pawson, R. & Anderson, R. (2014) Providing effective and preferred care closer to home: A realist review of intermediate care. Health and Social Care in the Community (accepted for publication)

Chilton, R., Pearson, M. & Anderson, R. (2014) Health promotion in schools: a scoping review of systematic reviews. Health Education (accepted for publication)

Pearson, M., Chilton, R., Buckley Woods, H., Wyatt, K., Ford, T., Abraham, C. & Anderson, R. (2013) Implementing health promotion programmes in schools: a realist systematic review of research and experience in the UK. Final report. Exeter: PenTAG, NIHR School for Public Health Research.

Pearson, M., Hunt, H., Cooper, C., Shepperd, S., Pawson, R., & Anderson, R. (2013) Intermediate care: a realist review and conceptual framework. Final report. NIHR Service Delivery and Organisation Programme. Report

People involved: Mark Pearson, Rebecca Hardwick, Rob Anderson, Harriet Hunt, Chris Cooper