Capturing the complexity of evaluations of health promotion interventions: A scoping review

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Evaluation designs that can capture the complexity of health promotion (HP ) interventions are needed. Our objective was to assess if such evaluations use a Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) perspective, by using a scoping review of evaluations of HP interventions concerning alcohol and tobacco use in the peer-reviewed (PR) and grey literature (GL). We developed indicator questions to assess CAS aspects. Our study revealed that none of the 45 PR and 9 GL evaluations that we reviewed explicitly used a CAS perspective; however, most indirectly assessed complexity aspects. Our indicator questions are a step toward addressing the challenges of the practical application of a CAS perspective.

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