Realist evaluation provides a general method of evaluating the application of interventions including policy, legislation, projects, and new processes in social settings such as law enforcement, healthcare and education. Realist evaluation focuses on what about interventions works, for whom, and in what circumstances, and there is a growing body of work using realist evaluation to analyse interventions in healthcare organizations, including those using Lean Six Sigma improvement methodologies.
Whilst realist evaluation facilitates the analysis of interventions using both qualitative and quantitative research, there is little guidance given on methods of data collection and analysis.
The purpose of this study is to address this lack of guidance through detailing the use of innovative person-centred methods of data collection and analysis in a realist evaluation that enabled us to understand the contribution of Lean Six Sigma to person-centred care and cultures.
This use of person-centred principles in the adjudication of identified program theories has informed novel methods of collecting and analysing data in realist evaluation that facilitate a person-centred approach to working with research participants and a way of making the implicit explicit when adjudicating program theory.