CE36 - Santé publique, santé et sociétés

Viability Assessment of population health interventions within Pilot Studies – VAPS

Submission summary

Introduction: Pilot studies are intended to prepare a trial. In population health intervention research (PHIR), they may also focus on intervention preparation. In this context has been introduced the concept of "viability validity" exploring the capability of an intervention to be successful in the real world (along the dimensions of practical, affordable, suitable, evaluable and helpfull). The aim of the VAPS research is to operationalize the concept of viability through conceptual and methodological research. Objectives are: to determine the viable viability criteria for consideration in evaluation process ; to describe and analyze how practitioners and researchers take into account these dimensions during development and evaluation phases and in routinization, transfer or dissemination processes; to develop a guide.
Methodology: The VAPS research is articulated in 3 work packages. A mixed meta-narrative review (WP1) will seek (1) to position the concept of viability in relation to other concepts related to the pilot study of public health interventions, (2) to identify the dimensions to be considered in addressing the conditions of viability in public health interventions, (3) to identify how researchers assess and take into account these conditions according to the stages of the project. It will be carried out in a 4-step multidisciplinary approach: scoping review; article selection; data extraction and analysis by research tradition; synthesis across different research traditions. A multiple case study (WP2), in France, Canada and Senegal will be conducted, in an inductive approach. Based on a documentary study and semi-directive interviews with stakeholders in the 6 cases studies, this study will seek to describe, explore and understand in detail how the dimensions of viability are taken into account by stakeholders and how these stakeholders address these issues in order to develop, transfer and scale up their interventions. The triangulation of the results of these two WPs, carried out in parallel from 2021 to 2023, will allow to refine the preparation of the consultation process (WP3). The consultation process (2023-2024) will bring together a panel of international experts to reach a consensus and produce a guide explaining the dimensions of viability to be considered in the development of the intervention and the methods to evaluate them in pilot studies. For this, a first step will be done remotely using the e-Delphi method, then a seminar will be organized in person. The scientific consortium, composed of French and Canadian research teams, in a multidisciplinary approach, will be solicited in a transversal way for each WP. Its mobilization will be articulated around 6 workshops.
Impact/finality: Population health intervention research has been described as "the science of solutions". Viability is an integral part of PHIR issues, to develop interventions that can be deployed and scaled up in common practice. While the interest of the viability during pilot studies in the development of public health interventions is recognized by many researchers, a clear definition of the concepts that make it up, their operationalization and the existence of standards still need to be clarified and developed. This project aims to support applied research by developing evaluation methods adapted to PHIR.

Project coordination

François ALLA (Bordeaux Population Health Research Center)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


BPH Bordeaux Population Health Research Center
CSO Centre de sociologie des organisations
CEPED Centre population et développement
McMaster University / Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact

Help of the ANR 255,236 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 36 Months

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