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Table 1 Theory of Change terminology

From: How to achieve the desired outcomes of advance care planning in nursing homes: a theory of change

Terminology Definition (adapted from De Silva, 2015 [36])
Impact The real-world change we are trying to achieve in nursing homes.
Ceiling of accountability The point at which we stop accepting responsibility for achieving those outcomes solely through the intervention programme.
Long-term outcomes The outcome that the programme is able to achieve on its own. This can inspire the choice for particular primary and secondary outcomes in the evaluation of the intervention.
Preconditions A precondition or intermediate outcome is a necessary requirement, condition or element that needs to be realized for the desired outcome to be achieved. In the context of ACP, these preconditions are the precursors or requirements for accomplishing successful ACP.
Intervention The different components of the complex intervention. They represent certain “actions” that need to be undertaken to bring about a certain result, intermediate outcome or precondition. These are “those things that the programme must do to bring about the outcomes”.
Assumptions An external condition beyond the control of the project that must or is assumed to exist for the outcome to be achieved.
Rationales The facts or reasons (based on evidence or experience) behind the choice of the intervention activities or strategies and each link of the causal pathway.
  1. ACP advance care planning