Acceptability of a complex team-based quality improvement intervention for transient ischemic attack: a mixed-methods study

Teresa M. Damush, Lauren S. Penney, Edward J. Miech, Nicholas A. Rattray, Sean A. Baird, Ariel J. Cheatham, Charles Austin, Ali Sexson, Laura J. Myers, Dawn M. Bravata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The Protocol-guided Rapid Evaluation of Veterans Experiencing New Transient Neurologic Symptoms (PREVENT) program was a complex quality improvement (QI) intervention targeting transient ischemic attack (TIA) evidence-based care. The aim of this study was to evaluate program acceptability among the QI teams and factors associated with degrees of acceptability. Methods: QI teams from six Veterans Administration facilities participated in active implementation for a one-year period. We employed a mixed methods study to evaluate program acceptability. Multiple data sources were collected over implementation phases and triangulated for this evaluation. First, we conducted 30 onsite, semi-structured interviews during active implementation with 35 participants at 6 months; 27 interviews with 28 participants at 12 months; and 19 participants during program sustainment. Second, we conducted debriefing meetings after onsite visits and monthly virtual collaborative calls. All interviews and debriefings were audiotaped, transcribed, and de-identified. De-identified files were qualitatively coded and analyzed for common themes and acceptability patterns. We conducted mixed-methods matrix analyses comparing acceptability by satisfaction ratings and by the Theoretical Framework of Acceptability (TFA). Results: Overall, the QI teams reported the PREVENT program was acceptable. The clinical champions reported high acceptability of the PREVENT program. At pre-implementation phase, reviewing quality data, team brainstorming solutions and development of action plans were rated as most useful during the team kickoff meetings. Program acceptability perceptions varied over time across active implementation and after teams accomplished actions plans and moved into sustainment. We observed team acceptability growth over a year of active implementation in concert with the QI team’s self-efficacy to improve quality of care. Guided by the TFA, the QI teams’ acceptability was represented by the respective seven components of the multifaceted acceptability construct. Conclusions: Program acceptability varied by time, by champion role on QI team, by team self-efficacy, and by perceived effectiveness to improve quality of care aligned with the TFA. A complex quality improvement program that fostered flexibility in local adaptation and supported users with access to data, resources, and implementation strategies was deemed acceptable and appropriate by front-line clinicians implementing practice changes in a large, national healthcare organization. Trial registration: NCT02769338.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number453
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2021


  • Acceptability
  • Complex intervention
  • Quality improvement
  • Temporality
  • Theoretical framework of acceptability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


Dive into the research topics of 'Acceptability of a complex team-based quality improvement intervention for transient ischemic attack: a mixed-methods study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this