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What is The ADAPT Study?

The ADAPT Study aims to provide guidance to practitioners, policy-makers, researchers and funders to support the adaptation of interventions for implementation and/or re-evaluation in new contexts.

In recent decades, a growing body of evaluations have enhanced our understandings of what does (or doesn’t) work in improving population health. Using interventions which have a prior evidence base in new contexts might be more efficient than developing new interventions for each context. 

However, the implementation of interventions, and their effects, are often somewhat dependent on context. While some transfer well, there are a growing number of examples of effective interventions which have not worked when implemented elsewhere. 

There is growing recognition that adaptation is often needed when using interventions in a new context. However, it is often unclear from published studies why specific interventions were selected for use in a new context, how or why specific adaptations were undertaken and implications of these adaptations for intervention functioning. 

Funded by the MRC/NIHR Methodology Research Programme panel, the ADAPT study has developed new guidance for researchers, funders and policymakers on how to make decisions regarding: 

  • Involving stakeholders in adaptation; 
  • Selecting a suitable evidence-informed intervention to adapt; 
  • Planning and undertaking adaptations; 
  • Evaluating adapted interventions; 
  • Implementing adapted interventions in routine practice;
  • Reporting adaptation processes and outcomes. 

The development of guidance was underpinned by three key work packages:

  1. A systematic review of existing guidance and a scoping review of practice in adaptation of interventions for new contexts;
  2. Qualitative interviews with researchers, funder, journal editors and policy and practice stakeholders about current practice and future directions;
  3. An expert consensus process, including a three-round e-DELPHI and a series of online meetings of international experts to discuss a draft of the guidance.