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Table 7 Process evaluation aims, objectives and methods

From: Preventing substance misuse: study protocol for a randomised controlled trial of the Strengthening Families Programme 10–14 UK (SFP 10–14 UK)

Aim Objectives Literature review Interview with Welsh government staff Interviews with programme trainers Interview with coordinators and managers Focus groups with programme facilitators Facilitator reflection sheets Observation of programme sessions and facilitator meetings Focus groups with intervention group families Focus groups with control group parents Routine data Main trial data
Inform decisions regarding which proximal outcomes should be captured at 9, 15 and 24 month follow-up interviews with parents/carers; To develop a theoretical model of the SFP10-14 UK, specifying the social and behavioural hypotheses that underlie the programme.           
To use the theoretical model to predict proximal outcomes.
Identify key programme content and processes; To link proximal outcomes to components of implementation.        
To compare scores for measures of hypothesised proximal and long-term outcomes from questionnaire respondents in intervention and control groups.
To revise and develop the logic model to take account of further hypotheses and priorities suggested by the data.
To determine how and when key aspects of delivery should be measured in order to assess fidelity to programme aims
Assess trial arm implementation and context; To describe implementation of the SFP10-14 UK, including characteristics of implementing agencies, staffing arrangements, referral routes and integration of services.     
To identify barriers and facilitators to implementation.
To identify family support services other than SFP10-14 UK used in trial areas.
Evaluate fidelity and completeness of programme delivery; For each area and programme run, to assess how closely implementation of SFP10-14 UK sessions matches the design and aims of SFP10-14 UK described in the programme manual      
To describe planned and actual roll out of SFP10-14 UK in each area.
To identify key factors influencing adherence
To estimate consistency in the provision of normal services
Assess participation and reach; In the intervention arm, to estimate the number of participants by different demographic groups, i.e. by gender; by age of children; by number of adults and children attending from each family; and by biological/other relationship of parents/carers to young people.          
In both trial arms, to estimate the number of study participants using family support services other than SFP10-14 UK, by demographic groups.
Calculate the extent of families’ attendance at SFP10-14 UK sessions To collate and summarise data showing (i) how many sessions are attended by each family; (ii) what proportion of the total number of enrolled family members attends each SFP10-14 UK session.            
Evaluate reception and response by families To explore parents/carers’ and young people’s experiences of attending the SFP and other services in terms of acceptability, their opinion of their value to them as individuals and any barriers or facilitators to participation.