A mixed-method synthesis to develop a mid-range theory for interventions aiming to generate demand for contraception among adolescents

Programme of work

Enhancing evidence transferability

Principal investigator(s)

Helen Burchett

Host institution

London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

Other institutions

International Centre for Reproductive Health, Mozambique
EPPI-Centre, University College London


January 2020 to June 2021 (TBC)

Project type

Evidence synthesis


Low- and middle-income countries

Research question

This study will use a novel means of bringing different types of research together to develop a theory about how to increase adolescents’ demand for contraceptives in low- and middle-income countries. It will address the following research questions:

  1. What types of interventions aimed at generating contraceptive demand among adolescents in LMICs have been evaluated?
  2. What theories underpin existing interventions aimed at generating contraceptive demand among adolescents?
  3. What characteristics of the interventions, their implementation and contexts may facilitate or hinder their success?
  4. What mid-range theory could explain how adolescent contraceptive demand interventions work?

As part of the project, it will also examine these questions:

  1. How useful could integrative review methods be for building middle-range theory in development?
  2. What study types are most helpful for this theory-building process?

Research design

First, the study team will conduct a systematic search of the literature.

Second, they will extract data that will include information such as the study design, location, population targeted and intervention characteristics. This will allow them to identify which studies will be included in each synthesis.

Third, the team will carry out a narrative synthesis of evidence on existing interventions to develop a map of the types of interventions that have been evaluated.

Fourth, the team will carry out a thematic synthesis of qualitative studies on adolescent, provider and other stakeholder views (e.g. experiences of adolescent family planning demand generation interventions) to explore which characteristics of interventions, their implementation and contexts may affect their success.

Finally, test whether our mid-range theory can be successfully applied to explain how evaluated interventions work.

Data source

The study will draw on evidence databases and extract data from included studies.

Policy relevance

The mid-range theory developed on contraceptive demand generation will useful to policymakers, implementers and funders to maximise the effectiveness of interventions in this area.

Project Outputs