Graphic methods benefit the structuring of interventions
In their article 1, Hoffmann TC and colleagues outlined a template to improve the completeness of reporting of interventions (i.e. TIDieR checklist) with twelve items, their explanation and elaboration and examples of good reporting. For designers of interventions, referring to the TIDieR to structure an intervention seems to be not very applicable.
Nonetheless, in order to achieve a better description of interventions, the beneficial suggestions of the TIDieR checklist can also be flexibly used to structure an intervention. But the overmuch information and items, to some extent, highlight the complexity of an intervention, especially in terms of a complex intervention, and the difficulty in structuring an intervention. Therefore, to design an intervention methodically, designers of the intervention can follow graphic methods--for example, as indicated by Perera R 2 and Hooper R 3. Like the TIDieR checklist, the graphic methods proposed by Perera R 2 and Hooper R 3 were also used to depict an intervention. Regarding the design of an intervention, they also provided an innovative method for designers. Graphic methods can prompt designers to think through the structure of the interventions, as well as the association of different parts mentioned by the TIDieR checklist, when they design flexible interventions, hierarchical interventions and multiple arms for multiple comparisons or in the case that an intervention has repeated components in particular.
Dear Hoffmann TC, after we saw your article some months before, we thought of graphic methods and believe that a new graphic method like the comic strip is useful and can benefit designers to structure an intervention, as well as facilitate designers to present the component of an intervention and the association of different components much better. This kind of active presentation can simulate the process of interventions through combining the information of the TIDieR checklist and the advantages of previous methods. May we invite you to collaborate?
01. Hoffmann TC, Glasziou PP, Boutron I, Milne R, Perera R, Moher D, et al. Better reporting of interventions: template for intervention description and replication (TIDieR) checklist and guide. BMJ 2014;348:g1687.
02. Perera R, Heneghan C, Yudkin P. Graphical method for depicting randomised trials of complex interventions. BMJ. 2007;334(7585):127-9.
03. Hooper R, Froud RJ, Bremner SA, Perera R, Eldridge S. Cascade diagrams for depicting complex interventions in randomised trials. BMJ. 2013 Nov 15;347:f6681.
Competing interests: No competing interests