Dr Justin Avery Aunger

Research Fellow (0.5 FTE) & Commercialisation Fellow (0.5 FTE)
PhD, BA (Hons)


Areas of specialism

Behaviour change psychology; Healthcare; Organisational psychology; Realist methods; Qualitative research; Evidence synthesis

University roles and responsibilities

  • Early Career Researcher representative - SHS
  • Commercialisation Fellow - May 2023 onwards

    My qualifications

    PhD; Behavioural Science applied to Health
    University of Birmingham
    Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
    Maastricht University

    Previous roles

    15 October 2019 - 30 September 2021
    Research Fellow - How, why and for whom do inter-organisational collaborations in healthcare work?
    University of Birmingham
    01 September 2016 - 31 August 2019
    Research Fellow while conducting PhD in a Horizon 2020 Funded Innovative Training Network called PANINI:

    University of Birmingham


    Research interests


    JUSTIN AVERY AUNGER, Ross Millar, Joanne Greenhalgh, Russell Mannion, Anne Marie Rafferty, Hugh McLeod (2021)Why do some inter-organisational collaborations in healthcare work when others do not? A realist review, In: Systematic reviews10(1)82pp. 82-82 BMC

    Inter-organisational collaboration is increasingly prominent within contemporary healthcare systems. A range of collaboration types such as alliances, networks, and mergers have been proposed as a means to turnaround organisations, by reducing duplication of effort, enabling resource sharing, and promoting innovations. However, in practice, due to the complexity of the process, such efforts are often rife with difficulty. Notable contributions have sought to make sense of this area; however, further understanding is needed in order to gain a better understanding of why some inter-organisational collaborations work when others do not, to be able to more effectively implement collaborations in the future. Realist review methodology was used with the intention of formulating context-mechanism-outcome configurations (CMOCs) to explain how inter-organisational collaborations work and why, combining systematic and purposive literature search techniques. The systematic review encompassed searches for reviews, commentaries, opinion pieces, and case studies on HMIC, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and Social Policy and Practice databases, and further searches were conducted using Google Scholar. Data were extracted from included studies according to relevance to the realist review. Fifty-three papers were included, informing the development of programme theories of how, why, and when inter-organisational collaborations in healthcare work. Formulation of our programme theories incorporated the concepts of partnership synergy and collaborative inertia and found that it was essential to consider mechanisms underlying partnership functioning, such as building trust and faith in the collaboration to maximise synergy and thus collaborative performance. More integrative or mandated collaboration may lean more heavily on contract to drive collaborative behaviour. As the first realist review of inter-organisational collaborations in healthcare as an intervention for improvement, this review provides actionable evidence for policymakers and implementers, enhancing understanding of mechanisms underlying the functioning and performing of inter-organisational collaborations, as well as how to configure the context to aid success. Next steps in this research will test the results against further case studies and primary data to produce a further refined theory. PROSPERO CRD42019149009.

    Justin Avery Aunger, Jill Maben, Ruth Abrams, Judy M. Wright, Russell Mannion, Mark Mark , Aled Jones, Johanna I. Westbrook (2023)Drivers of unprofessional behaviour between staff in acute care hospitals: a realist review, In: BMC health services research231326 BioMed Central
    Justin Avery Aunger, Jill Maben, Ruth Abrams, Judy M. Wright, Mark Pearson, Johanna I. Westbrook, Aled Jones, Russell Mannion (2023)Interventions to address unprofessional behaviours between staff in acute care: What works for whom and why? A realist review, In: BMC Medicine21403 BMC

    Background Unprofessional behaviour (UB) between staff encompasses various behaviours, including incivility, microaggressions, harassment, and bullying. UB is pervasive in acute healthcare settings and disproportionately impacts minoritised staff. UB has detrimental effects on staff wellbeing, patient safety and organisational resources. While interventions have been implemented to mitigate UB, there is limited understanding of how and why they may work and for whom. Methods This study utilised a realist review methodology with stakeholder input to improve understanding of these complex context-dependent interventions. Initial programme theories were formulated drawing upon scoping searches and reports known to the study team. Purposive systematic searches were conducted to gather grey and published global literature from databases. Documents were selected if relevant to UB in acute care settings while considering rigour and relevance. Data were extracted from these reports, synthesised, and initial theories tested, to produce refined programme theories. Results Of 2977 deduplicated records, 148 full text reports were included with 42 reports describing interventions to address UB in acute healthcare settings. Interventions drew on 13 types of behaviour change strategies and were categorised into five types of intervention (1) single session (i.e. one off); (2) multiple session; (3) single or multiple sessions combined with other actions (e.g. training sessions plus a code of conduct); (4) professional accountability and reporting programmes and; (5) structured culture change interventions. We formulated 55 context-mechanism-outcome configurations to explain how, why, and when these interventions work. We identified twelve key dynamics to consider in intervention design, including importance of addressing systemic contributors, rebuilding trust in managers, and promoting a psychologically safe culture; fifteen implementation principles were identified to address these dynamics. Conclusions Interventions to address UB are still at an early stage of development, and their effectiveness to reduce UB and improve patient safety is unclear. Future interventions should incorporate knowledge from behavioural and implementation science to affect behaviour change; draw on multiple concurrent strategies to address systemic contributors to UB; and consider the undue burden of UB on minoritised groups.

    Ross Millar, Justin Avery Aunger, Anne Marie Rafferty, Joanne Greenhalgh, Russell Mannion, Hugh McLeod, Deborah Faulks (2023)Towards achieving interorganisational collaboration between health-care providers: a realist evidence synthesis, In: Health and Social Care Delivery Research11(6)pp. 1-130

    Background: Interorganisational collaboration is currently being promoted to improve the performance of NHS providers. However, up to now, there has, to the best of our knowledge, been no systematic attempt to assess the effect of different approaches to collaboration or to understand the mechanisms through which interorganisational collaborations can work in particular contexts. Objectives: Our objectives were to (1) explore the main strands of the literature about interorganisational collaboration and to identify the main theoretical and conceptual frameworks, (2) assess the empirical evidence with regard to how different interorganisational collaborations may (or may not) lead to improved performance and outcomes, (3) understand and learn from NHS evidence users and other stakeholders about how and where interorganisational collaborations can best be used to support turnaround processes, (4) develop a typology of interorganisational collaboration that considers different types and scales of collaboration appropriate to NHS provider contexts and (5) generate evidence-informed practical guidance for NHS providers, policy-makers and others with responsibility for implementing and assessing interorganisational collaboration arrangements. Design: A realist synthesis was carried out to develop, test and refine theories about how interorganisational collaborations work, for whom and in what circumstances. Data sources: Data sources were gathered from peer-reviewed and grey literature, realist interviews with 34 stakeholders and a focus group with patient and public representatives. Review methods: Initial theories and ideas were gathered from scoping reviews that were gleaned and refined through a realist review of the literature. A range of stakeholder interviews and a focus group sought to further refine understandings of what works, for whom and in what circumstances with regard to high-performing interorganisational collaborations. Results: A realist review and synthesis identified key mechanisms, such as trust, faith, confidence and risk tolerance, within the functioning of effective interorganisational collaborations. A stakeholder analysis refined this understanding and, in addition, developed a new programme theory of collaborative performance, with mechanisms related to cultural efficacy, organisational efficiency and technological

    Justin Avery Aunger, Ross Millar, Joanne Greenhalgh (2023)Modelling life cycles of inter-organizational collaborations in healthcare: a systematic review and best-fit framework synthesis, In: Journal of health organisation and management Emerald

    Purpose-Inter-organisational collaboration (IOC) across healthcare settings has been put forward as a solution to mounting financial and sustainability challenges. Whilst ingredients for successful IOC have been explored, there remains limited understanding of the development of IOCs over time. Design/methodology/approach-The authors systematically reviewed the literature to identify models applied to IOCs in healthcare across databases such as Healthcare Management Information Consortium (HMIC) and MEDLINE, identifying 2,763 titles and abstracts with 26 final papers included. The authors then used a "best fit" framework synthesis methodology to synthesise fourteen models of IOC in healthcare and the wider public sector to formulate an applied composite model describing the process through which collaborations change over time. This synthesis comprised extracting stages and behaviours from included models, selecting an a priori framework upon which to code these stages and behaviours and then re-coding them to construct a new composite model. Findings-Existing models often did not consider that organisations may undergo many IOCs in the organisations' lifetime nor included "contemplation" stages or those analogous to "dissolution", which might negatively impact papers using such models. The formulated' composite model utilises a life-cycle design comprising five non-linear phases, namely Contemplating, Connecting, Planning, Implementation and Maintenance or Dissolution and incorporates dynamic elements from Complex Adaptive Systems thinking to reflect the dynamic nature of collaborations. Originality/value-This is the first purpose-built model of the lifecycles of IOCs in healthcare. The model is intended to inform implementers, evaluators and researchers of IOCs alike.

    Anea Cabbia, Anna Whittaker, Evans Asamane, Justin Aunger, Dmitriy Bondarev, Paul Doody, Noemie Gensous, Barbara Iadarola, Keenan Ramsey, Belina Roigues, Muhammad Rizwan Tahir, Suey Yeung (2019)Physical Activity and Nutrition INfluences in Ageing: Current Findings from the PANINI Project, In: Advances in Geriatric Medicine and Research1(1)

    Background: The ageing of the population is a global challenge and the period of life spent in good health, although increasing, is not keeping pace with lifespan. Consequently, understanding the important factors that contribute to healthy ageing and validating interventions and influencing policy to promote healthy ageing are vital research priorities. Method: The PANINI project is a collaboration of 20 partners across Europe examining the influence of physical activity and nutrition in ageing. Methods utilised encompass the biological to the social, from genetics to the influence of social context. For example, epigenetic, immunological, and psychological assessments, and nutritional and sports science-based interventions have been used among older adults, as well as mathematical modelling and epidemiology. The projects are multi-disciplinary and examine health outcomes in ageing from a range of perspectives. Results: The results discussed here are those emerging thus far in PANINI from 11 distinct programmes of research within PANINI as well as projects cross-cutting the network. New approaches, and the latest results are discussed. Conclusions: The PANINI project has been addressing the impact of physical activity and nutrition on healthy ageing from diverse but interlinked perspectives. It emphasises the importance of using standardized measures and the advantages of combining data to compare biomarkers and interventions across different settings and typologies of older adults. As the projects conclude, the current results and final data will form part of a shared dataset, which will be made open access for other researchers into ageing processes.

    JUSTIN AVERY AUNGER, C Greaves, Edward T Davis, Evans A Asamane, Anna C Whittaker, Carolyn Anne Greig (2020)A novel behavioural INTErvention to REduce Sitting Time in older adults undergoing orthopaedic surgery (INTEREST): results of a randomised-controlled feasibility study, In: Aging clinical and experimental research32(12)2585 Springer

    Osteoarthritis is a prevalent condition in older adults that causes many patients to require a hip or knee replacement. Reducing patients' sedentariness prior to surgery may improve physical function and post-operative outcomes. We conducted a pragmatic randomised-controlled feasibility study with 2:1 allocation into intervention or usual care groups. The intervention, based on Self-Determination Theory, involved techniques to reduce sedentary behaviour, including motivational interviewing, setting of behavioural goals, and more. The primary outcome was feasibility, assessed using mixed methods. We included exploratory measures to inform a future definitive trial, such as ActivPal3 accelerometry to measure movement, the Short Physical Performance Battery (SPPB), Basic Psychological Needs, and cardiometabolic biomarkers. Assessments were at baseline, 1-week pre-surgery, and 6-week post-surgery. We recruited 35 participants aged ≥ 60 years approximately 8 weeks before hip or knee arthroplasty. Participant uptake rate was 14.2%, and retention rate 85.7%. Participants were very satisfied with the study which was found to be feasible with some modifications. Exploratory within-group comparisons found that the intervention has potential to improve SPPB by 0.71 points from baseline to pre-surgery, a clinically significant increase, and reduce sedentary time by up to 66 min d . In this older surgical population, it is feasible to use behavioural techniques to displace sedentary time to activity and to conduct a trial spanning the period of surgical intervention. This may improve physical function and surgical outcomes. The INTEREST intervention is now ready for evaluation in a full-scale randomised-controlled trial. This trial was registered on Clinicaltrials.gov on 13/11/2018. ID: NCT03740412.

    JUSTIN AVERY AUNGER, Ross Millar, Anne Marie Rafferty, Russell Mannion, Joanne Greenhalgh, Deborah Faulks, Hugh McLeod (2022)How, when, and why do inter-organisational collaborations in healthcare work? A realist evaluation, In: PloS one.17(4)e0266899 PLOS

    BackgroundInter-organisational collaborations (IOCs) in healthcare have been viewed as an effective approach to performance improvement. However, there remain gaps in our understanding of what helps IOCs function, as well as how and why contextual elements affect their implementation. A realist review of evidence drawing on 86 sources has sought to elicit and refine context-mechanism-outcome configurations (CMOCs) to understand and refine these phenomena, yet further understanding can be gained from interviewing those involved in developing IOCs.MethodsWe used a realist evaluation methodology, adopting prior realist synthesis findings as a theoretical framework that we sought to refine. We drew on 32 interviews taking place between January 2020 and May 2021 with 29 stakeholders comprising IOC case studies, service users, as well as regulatory perspectives in England. Using a retroductive analysis approach, we aimed to test CMOCs against these data to explore whether previously identified mechanisms, CMOCs, and causal links between them were affirmed, refuted, or revised, and refine our explanations of how and why interorganisational collaborations are successful.ResultsMost of our prior CMOCs and their underlying mechanisms were supported in the interview findings with a diverse range of evidence. Leadership behaviours, including showing vulnerability and persuasiveness, acted to shape the core mechanisms of collaborative functioning. These included our prior mechanisms of trust, faith, and confidence, which were largely ratified with minor refinements. Action statements were formulated, translating theoretical findings into practical guidance.ConclusionAs the fifth stage in a larger project, our refined theory provides a comprehensive understanding of the causal chain leading to effective collaborative inter-organisational relationships. These findings and recommendations can support implementation of IOCs in the UK and elsewhere. Future research should translate these findings into further practical guidance for implementers, researchers, and policymakers.

    JUSTIN AVERY AUNGER, C Greaves, Edward T Davis, Carolyn Anne Greig (2019)A novel behavioural INTErvention to REduce Sitting Time in older adults undergoing orthopaedic surgery (INTEREST): protocol for a randomised controlled feasibility study, In: Pilot and feasibility studies5(1)pp. 54-54 BioMed Central
    Justin Avery Aunger, Ross Millar, Anne Marie Rafferty, Russell Mannion (2022)Collaboration over competition? Regulatory reform and inter-organisational relations in the NHS amidst the COVID-19 pandemic: a qualitative study, In: BMC Health Services Research22640 BMC

    Background In 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, England’s Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) released a White Paper outlining proposed legislative reform of the National Health Service (NHS). Key to the proposals is the shift from relationships between providers based on competition, to cooperation, as the central driver of improved performance and quality. Against this background we explore potential regulatory barriers and enablers to collaboration identified by key NHS stakeholders and assess whether the proposed policy changes are likely to deliver the desired improvement in collaborative relationships, in the context of challenges experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods We conducted 32 semi-structured interviews with 30 key stakeholders, taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic from Jan 2020 to May 2021. Participants were selected for their expertise regarding collaboration and were recruited purposively. Interviews were conducted online with the use of video conferencing software. The interviews were thematically analysed to identify themes. Proposals contained in the DHSC White Paper helped to structure the thematic analysis, interpretation, and reporting of the results. Results Requirements to compete to provide services, regulatory ability to block collaborative arrangements, lack of collaboration between providers and Clinical Commissioning Groups, and current lack of data sharing were found to hamper collaborative efforts. These issues often negatively affected collaborative relations by increasing bureaucracy and prompted leaders to attempt to avoid future collaborations. Other barriers included opaque accountability arrangements, and erosion of trust in regulators. The COVID-19 pandemic was found to foster collaboration between organisations, but some changes mandated by the new legislation may stifle further collaboration. Conclusions Many of the proposed legislative changes in the White Paper would help to remove existing barriers to service integration and collaboration identified by stakeholders. However, the proposed shift in the concentration of power from NHS England to the DHSC may exacerbate historically low levels of trust between providers and regulators. Many of the proposed changes fail to address endemic NHS policy issues such as chronic understaffing. Further dialogue is needed at all levels of the health and social care system to ensure future legislative changes meet the needs of all stakeholders.

    JUSTIN AVERY AUNGER, Paul Doody, Carolyn Anne Greig (2018)Interventions targeting sedentary behavior in non-working older adults: a systematic review, In: Maturitas116pp. 89-99

    Sedentary behavior has been found to be associated with negative health outcomes independently of physical activity in older adults. This systematic review collates interventions to reduce sedentary behavior in non-working older adults, assessing whether they are effective, feasible, and safe. A systematic search identified 2560 studies across five databases. Studies were included where participants were ≥60 years on average with none younger than 45, and participants did not work >2 days per week. A total of six studies were identified, three of which included control groups, while the other three were repeated-measures pre-post designs. Only one study randomised participants. The overall level of quality of included studies was poor. A narrative synthesis was conducted, as the level of heterogeneity in outcomes and outcome reporting were too high for a meta-analysis to be performed. The narrative synthesis suggested that interventions have the potential to reduce sitting time in non-working older adults. Included studies reported feasible and safe implementations of their interventions in most samples, except for one subsample from a study of people in sheltered housing. Objectively measured reductions in sitting time were between 3.2% and 5.3% of waking time, or up to 53.9 min per day. Future studies should employ more rigorous designs to assess the effects of reducing sedentary behavior on health and physical function, and should include follow-ups to measure the duration of behavior change.

    Ethnic minorities have a high prevalence of non-communicable diseases relating to unhealthy lifestyle practices. Several factors have been identified as influencing unhealthy lifestyle practices among this population; however, there is little evidence about how these factors differ among a heterogeneous sample living in a super-diverse city. This study aimed to: (1) identify and compare factors influencing eating behaviours and physical function among ethnic older minorities living in Birmingham, United Kingdom; and (2) understand how these factors and their association with healthy eating and physical function changed over 8-months. An in-depth interviewing approach was used at baseline ( = 92) and after 8-months ( = 81). Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed using directed content analysis. Healthy eating was viewed as more important than, and unrelated to, physical function. Personal, social and cultural/environmental factors were identified as the main factors influencing eating behaviours and physical function, which differed by ethnicity, age, and sex. At 8-month interviews, more men than women reported adverse changes. The study provides unique and useful insights regarding perceived eating behaviours and physical function in a relatively large and diverse sample of older adults that can be used to design new, and adapt existing, culturally-tailored community interventions to support healthy ageing.

    Introduction Unprofessional behaviours encompass many behaviours including bullying, harassment and microaggressions. These behaviours between healthcare staff are problematic; they affect people’s ability to work, to feel psychologically safe at work and speak up and to deliver safe care to patients. Almost a fifth of UK National Health Service staff experience unprofessional behaviours in the workplace, with higher incidence in acute care settings and for staff from minority backgrounds. Existing analyses have investigated the effectiveness of strategies to reduce these behaviours. We seek to go beyond these, to understand the range and causes of such behaviours, their negative effects and how mitigation strategies may work, in which contexts and for whom. Methods and analysis This study uses a realist review methodology with stakeholder input comprising a number of iterative steps: (1) formulating initial programme theories drawing on informal literature searches and literature already known to the study team, (2) performing systematic and purposive searches for grey and peer-reviewed literature on Embase, CINAHL and MEDLINE databases as well as Google and Google Scholar, (3) selecting appropriate documents while considering rigour and relevance, (4) extracting data, (5) and synthesising and (6) refining the programme theories by testing the theories against the newly identified literature. Ethics and dissemination Ethical review is not required as this study is a secondary research. An impact strategy has been developed which includes working closely with key stakeholders throughout the project. Step 7 of our project will develop pragmatic resources for managers and professionals, tailoring contextually-sensitive strategies to reduce unprofessional behaviours, identifying what works for which groups. We will be guided by the ‘Evidence Integration Triangle’ to implement the best strategies to reduce unprofessional behaviours in given contexts. Dissemination will occur through presentation at conferences, innovative methods (cartoons, videos, animations and/or interactive performances) and peer-reviewed journals.

    Keenan A. Ramsey, Suey S. Y. Yeung, Anna G. M. Rojer, Noémie Gensous, Evans A Asamane, Justin Avery Aunger, Dmitriy Bondarev, Andrea Cabbia, Paul Doody, Barbara Iadarola, Belina Rodrigues, Muhammad R. Tahir, Victor Kallen, Paola Pazienza, Nadine Correia Santos, Sarianna Sipilä, Janice L. Thompson, Carel G. M. Meskers, Marijke C. Trappenburg, Anna C. Whittaker, Andrea B. Maier (2022)Knowledge of Nutrition and Physical Activity Guidelines is Not Associated with Physical Function in Dutch Older Adults Attending a Healthy Ageing Public Engagement Event, In: Clinical Interventions in Aging17pp. 1769-1778

    Purpose: Evidence-based guidelines on nutrition and physical activity are used to increase knowledge in order to promote a healthy lifestyle. However, actual knowledge of guidelines is limited and whether it is associated with health outcomes is unclear. Participants and Methods: This inception cohort study aimed to investigate the association of knowledge of nutrition and physical activity guidelines with objective measures of physical function and physical activity in community-dwelling older adults attending a public engagement event in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Knowledge of nutrition and physical activity according to Dutch guidelines was assessed using customized questionnaires. Gait speed and handgrip strength were proxies of physical function and the Minnesota Leisure Time Physical Activity Questionnaire was used to assess physical activity in minutes/week. Linear regression analysis, stratified by gender and adjusted for age, was used to study the association between continuous and categorical knowledge scores with outcomes. Results: In 106 older adults (mean age=70.1 SD=6.6, years) who were highly educated, well-functioning, and generally healthy, there were distinct knowledge gaps in nutrition and physical activity which did not correlate with one another (R2=0.013, p=0.245). Knowledge of nutrition or physical activity guidelines was not associated with physical function or physical activity. However, before age-adjustment nutrition knowledge was positively associated with HGS in males (B= 0.64 (95% CI: 0.05, 1.22)) and having knowledge above the median was associated with faster gait speed in females (B=0.10 (95% CI: 0.01, 0.19)). Conclusion: Our findings may represent a ceiling effect of the impact knowledge has on physical function and activity in the this high performing and educated population and that there may be other determinants of behavior leading to health status such as attitude and perception to consider in future studies.

    JUSTIN AVERY AUNGER, Janelle Wagnild (2022)Objective and subjective measurement of sedentary behavior in human adults: A toolkit, In: American journal of human biology34(1)e23546 John Wiley & Sons, Inc

    Objectives Objectives: Human biologists are increasingly interested in measuring and comparing physical activities in different societies. Sedentary behavior, which refers to time spent sitting or lying down while awake, is a large component of daily 24 hours movement patterns in humans and has been linked to poor health outcomes such as risk of all‐cause and cardiovascular mortality, independently of physical activity. As such, it is important for researchers, with the aim of measuring human movement patterns, to most effectively use resources available to them to capture sedentary behavior. Methods This toolkit outlines objective (device‐based) and subjective (self‐report) methods for measuring sedentary behavior in free‐living contexts, the benefits and drawbacks to each, as well as novel options for combined use to maximize scientific rigor. Throughout this toolkit, emphasis is placed on considerations for the use of these methods in various field conditions and in varying cultural contexts. Results Objective measures such as inclinometers are the gold‐standard for measuring total sedentary time but they typically cannot capture contextual information or determine which specific behaviors are taking place. Subjective measures such as questionnaires and 24 hours‐recall methods can provide measurements of time spent in specific sedentary behaviors but are subject to measurement error and response bias. Conclusions We recommend that researchers use the method(s) that suit the research question; inclinometers are recommended for the measurement of total sedentary time, while self‐report methods are recommended for measuring time spent in particular contexts of sedentary behavior.

    JUSTIN AVERY AUNGER, Ross Millar, Joanne Greenhalgh, Russell Mannion, Anne Marie Rafferty, Hugh McLeod (2021)Building an initial realist theory of partnering across National Health Service providers, In: Journal of integrated care (Brighton, England)29(2)pp. 111-125 Emerald Publishing Limited

    PurposeThe National Health Service (NHS) is facing unprecedented financial strain. These significant economic pressures have coincided with concerns regarding the quality and safety of the NHS provider sector. To make the necessary improvements to performance, policy interest has turned to encouraging greater collaboration and partnership working across providers.Design/methodology/approachUsing a purposive search of academic and grey literature, this narrative review aimed (1) to establish a working typology of partnering arrangements for improvement across NHS providers and (2) inform the development of a plausible initial rough theory (IRF) of partnering to inform an ongoing realist synthesis.FindingsDifferent types of partnership were characterised by degree of integration and/or organisational change. A review of existing theories of partnering also identified a suitable framework which incorporated key elements to partnerships, such as governance, workforce, leadership and culture. This informed the creation of an IRF of partnerships, which proposes that partnership “interventions” are proposed to primarily cause changes in governance, leadership, IT systems and care model design, which will then go on to affect culture, user engagement and workforce.Research limitations/implicationsFurther realist evaluation, informed by this review, will aim to uncover configurations of mechanisms, contexts and outcomes in various partnering arrangements and limitations. As this is the starting point for building a programme theory, it draws on limited evidence.Originality/valueThis paper presents a novel theory of partnering and collaborating in healthcare with practical implications for policy makers and practitioners.

    Paul Doody, JUSTIN AVERY AUNGER, Evans A Asamane, Carolyn Anne Greig, J Lord, AL Whittaker (2019)Frailty Levels In Geriatric Hospital paTients (FLIGHT)-the prevalence of frailty among geriatric populations within hospital ward settings: a systematic review protocol, In: BMJ open9(8)e030147 BMJ

    Frailty is a common and clinically significant condition in geriatric populations, associated with adverse health outcomes such as hospitalisation, disability and mortality. Although there are systematic reviews/meta-analyses assessing the prevalence of frailty in community-dwelling older adults, nursing home residents, and cancer and general surgery patients, there are none assessing the overall prevalence of frailty in geriatric hospital inpatients. This review will systematically search and analyse the prevalence of frailty within geriatric hospital inpatients within the literature. A search will be employed on the platforms of Ovid, Web of Science and databases of Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) Plus, SCOPUS and the Cochrane Library. Any observational or experimental study design which utilises a validated operational definition of frailty, reports the prevalence of frailty, has a minimum age ≥65 years, attempts to assess the whole ward/clinical population and occurs in hospital inpatients, will be included. Title and abstract and full-text screenings will be conducted by three reviewers. Methodological quality of eligible studies will be assessed using the Joanna Briggs Institute critical appraisal tool. Data extraction will be performed by two reviewers. If sufficient data are available, a meta-analysis synthesising pooled estimates of the prevalence of frailty and pre-frailty, as well as the prevalence of frailty stratified by age, sex, operational frailty definition, prevalent morbidities, ward type and location, among older hospitalised inpatients will be conducted. Clinical heterogeneity will be assessed by two reviewers. Statistical heterogeneity will be assessed through a Cochran Q test, and an I test performed to assess its magnitude. Ethical approval was not required as primary data will not be collected. Findings will be disseminated through publication in peer reviewed open access scientific journals, public engagement events, conference presentations and social media. 79202.