The process, outcomes, and challenges of feasibility studies conducted in partnership with stakeholders: A health intervention for women survivors of intimate partner violence
Feasibility studies play a crucial role in determining whether complex, community-based interventions should be subject to efficacy testing. Reports of such studies often focus on efficacy potential but less often examine other elements of feasibility, such as acceptance by clients and professionals, practicality, and system integration, which are critical to decisions for proceeding with controlled efficacy testing. Although stakeholder partnership in feasibility studies is widely suggested to facilitate the research process, strengthen relevance, and increase knowledge transfer, little is written about how this occurs or its consequences and outcomes. We began to address these gaps in knowledge in a feasibility study of a health intervention for women survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV) conducted in partnership with policy, community and practitioner stakeholders. We employed a mixed-method design, combining a single-group, pre-post intervention study with 52 survivors of IPV, of whom 42 completed data collection, with chart review data and interviews of 18 purposefully sampled participants and all 9 interventionists. We assessed intervention feasibility in terms of acceptability, demand, practicality, implementation, adaptation, integration, and efficacy potential. Our findings demonstrate the scope of knowledge attainable when diverse elements of feasibility are considered, as well as the benefits and challenges of partnership. The implications of diverse perspectives on knowledge transfer are discussed. Our findings show the importance of examining elements of feasibility for complex community-based health interventions as a basis for determining whether controlled intervention efficacy testing is justified and for refining both the intervention and the research design.