Table 1 Categories of quality-improvement intervention (QII) research
General typeGoalsDefinitionNumberFurther issues
I. Empirical literature on development and testing of QIIsAssess barriers to quality improvementReports on data collected to develop or test the QII251539What subtypes among the diverse investigations in this category will be most useful?
Discover effective quality improvement or provider behaviour change methodsAims to improve quality of care for a defined population of individuals cared for/targeted by a specific organisational unit or units, practice, or communityHow should the issue that full QII documentation is often spread across a large number of articles, some incorporating data and some not, be handled?
Implement guidelines or best practices
II. QII stories, theories, and frameworksAdvance understanding or theory related to QII development or testingNo formal qualitative or quantitative data collection other than expert panel-related data3049 40 63How should articles in this category be distinguished from each other? Should the field develop quality standards for this kind of research, such as assessing the extent to which information is validated, systematic or original?
Develop consensusIncludes one or more case descriptions, illustrative stories, theories or frameworks
III. QII literature synthesis and meta-analysisDevelop the evidence base on methods for quality improvement or provider behaviour changeReports literature synthesis or meta-analysis data106473Should standards for evaluating multicomponent interventions across studies be developed?
Assesses the effectiveness or characteristics of a QIIAre current quality standards for literature synthesis and meta-analysis adequate for behaviour-change interventions?
IV. Development and testing of QII-related toolsDiscover effective technologies for use in quality improvementReports on data collected to develop or test a QII tool97482Are standards for identifying naturalistic settings and conditions needed?
The method or tool is developed or tested in a naturalistic setting, under routine conditionsAre standards for assessing QII tool success needed?
Books411–13 83
Unclassified284 85
  • See Appendix (online) for an annotated review list.