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Table 1 Overview of the ICA approach

From: Intervention Component Analysis (ICA): a pragmatic approach for identifying the critical features of complex interventions

Aims to answer… How do interventions differ from one another?
Which of these differences in characteristics appears to be important?
What would an ideal version of the intervention ‘look like’?
Assumes that… Characteristics that are present in all/many effective interventions are worthy of attention
Characteristics that may be present in one/small numbers of intervention(s) may be less important
Addresses the challenge of poor quality intervention descriptions by… Using an inductive approach to explore the nature of intervention features
Making use of trialists’ informally reported experience-based evidence