Evaluating Complex Treatments: Building Models C. Paterson, H. Boon, L. Skovgaard

One of the major challenges in evaluating complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is the complexity in the courses of disease and treatment. It has been argued that the core question “what works?” should be rephrased in an extended form, “what works, for whom, when, where, and why, and from whose perspectives”? Programme theory (intervention theory, logic modeling) conceptualises outcome as linked to both mechanism and context. Used as a basis for constructing conceptual models of complex health care interventions, programme theory ensures that such models include not only the intervention and the outcomes but also explicitly represents the components and dynamic of the process and the social and cultural contexts. The purpose of the workshop is to enhance the capability of the participants to use programme theory, and other types of conceptual modeling, in their research, evaluation and practice. It is suitable for those with and without some experience of developing conceptual models. This participative workshop will include an introduction to the subject, some examples of developing such models in CAM research and structured small group activities to try out the ideas in practice.