Australian Journal of Primary Health Australian Journal of Primary Health Society
The issues influencing community health services and primary health care
RESEARCH ARTICLE

Using logic models to enhance the methodological quality of primary health-care interventions: guidance from an intervention to promote nutrition care by general practitioners and practice nurses

Lauren Ball A H , Dianne Ball B , Michael Leveritt C , Sumantra Ray D , Clare Collins E , Elizabeth Patterson F , Gina Ambrosini G , Patricia Lee A and Wendy Chaboyer A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Qld 4222, Australia.

B Communio Pty Ltd, North Sydney, NSW 2065, Australia.

C School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Qld 4072, Australia.

D The Need for Nutrition Education/Innovation Programme, The University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB1 9NL, UK.

E Priority Research Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, The University of Newcastle, NSW 2308, Australia.

F Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Vic. 3052, Australia.

G School of Population Health, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA 6009, Australia.

H Corresponding author. Email: l.ball@griffith.edu.au

Australian Journal of Primary Health 23(1) 53-60 https://doi.org/10.1071/PY16038
Submitted: 19 March 2016  Accepted: 1 June 2016   Published: 27 July 2016

Abstract

The methodological designs underpinning many primary health-care interventions are not rigorous. Logic models can be used to support intervention planning, implementation and evaluation in the primary health-care setting. Logic models provide a systematic and visual way of facilitating shared understanding of the rationale for the intervention, the planned activities, expected outcomes, evaluation strategy and required resources. This article provides guidance for primary health-care practitioners and researchers on the use of logic models for enhancing methodological rigour of interventions. The article outlines the recommended steps in developing a logic model using the ‘NutriCare’ intervention as an example. The ‘NutriCare’ intervention is based in the Australian primary health-care setting and promotes nutrition care by general practitioners and practice nurses. The recommended approach involves canvassing the views of all stakeholders who have valuable and informed opinions about the planned project. The following four targeted, iterative steps are recommended: (1) confirm situation, intervention aim and target population; (2) document expected outcomes and outputs of the intervention; (3) identify and describe assumptions, external factors and inputs; and (4) confirm intervention components. Over a period of 2 months, three primary health-care researchers and one health-services consultant led the collaborative development of the ‘NutriCare’ logic model. Primary health-care practitioners and researchers are encouraged to develop a logic model when planning interventions to maximise the methodological rigour of studies, confirm that data required to answer the question are captured and ensure that the intervention meets the project goals.

Additional keywords: chronic disease, general practice, intervention studies, logic model, nutritional management, nutrition therapy, primary care, research methods.


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