Objectives: To develop a tool for the accurate reporting and aggregation of findings from each of the multiple methods used in a complex evaluation in an unbiased way.
Study Design and Setting: We developed a Method for Aggregating The Reporting of Interventions in Complex Studies (MATRICS) within a gastroenterology study [Evaluating New Innovations in (the delivery and organisation of) Gastrointestinal (GI) endoscopy services by the NHS Modernisation Agency (ENIGMA)]. We subsequently tested it on a different gastroenterology trial [Multi-Institutional Nurse Endoscopy Trial (MINuET)]. We created three layers to define the effects, methods, and findings from ENIGMA. We assigned numbers to each effect in layer 1 and letters to each method in layer 2. We used an alphanumeric code based on layers 1 and 2 to every finding in layer 3 to link the aims, methods, and findings. We illustrated analogous findings by assigning more than one alphanumeric code to a finding. We also showed that more than one effect or method could report the same finding. We presented contradictory findings by listing them in adjacent rows of the MATRICS.
Results: MATRICS was useful for the effective synthesis and presentation of findings of the multiple methods from ENIGMA. We subsequently successfully tested it by applying it to the MINuET trial.
Conclusion: MATRICS is effective for synthesizing the findings of complex, multiple-method studies.
Bibliographical note-Supplementary data: available on the journal webpage.
- complex interventions
- data reporting
- evaluation methods
- evaluation studies as topic
- multiple methods
- research design