I'm a 2nd year Dental Public Health PhD student working on a protocol for a Realist Review. My research question is: Which mechanisms within child health interventions, positively influence child health promoting care giver behaviour?
The review will form part of my PhD which is an evaluation of a Lay Health Worker role within the Childsmile dental programme.
While researching Realist Review methodology and developing my protocol the only stumbling block I'm coming up against is the concept of 'theory testing'. I understand the searching is an iterative process, one which involves identifying and testing theories. However I'm failing to understand what exactly is involved within this testing phase.
For example, if it arose that Goal Setting was a theory, would I then be re-entering the literature with the intention of locating evidence related to Goal Setting? Would this evidence have to confirm why Goal Setting is an effective tool?
I would be grateful for any advice or information anyone could provide on this matter.
Mairi Young BA (hons) MSc MBPsS
The University of Glasgow, Glasgow Dental Hospital & School
Level 8 COH Office 378 Sauchiehall Street
Glasgow G2 3JZ
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Tel: 0794 7744 517