Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Mapping the Theoretical Domain Framework to the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research- do multiple frameworks add value?.pdf (2.38 MB)

Mapping the Theoretical Domain Framework to the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research: do multiple frameworks add value?

Download (2.38 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-09-12, 10:34 authored by Bernadine ODonovanBernadine ODonovan, C. Kirke, M. Pate, S. McHugh, Kathleen BennettKathleen Bennett, Caitriona CahirCaitriona Cahir

Background: Implementation researchers often combine the Theoretical Domain Framework (TDF) and Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) in their studies. However there is some debate on the merits of using multiple frameworks—whether they contribute to results or provide superfluous analysis. Our recent research combined the TDF and CFIR to identify determinants to widespread incorporation of patient held medication lists (PHML) in healthcare practice. The aim of this report is to provide guidance on the use of the TDF and CFIR; by assessing the degree of overlap between the two frameworks in their application to interviews about PHML.

Methods: Semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with healthcare professionals (HCPs) and non HCPs (people taking multiple medicines and caregivers).Interview data were transcribed and analysed using the TDF and CFIR. Within paired domains substantial intersection/overlap across constructs and domains within the two frameworks was classified as > 75% of coding references, consistent intersection/overlap was defined as > 50% and ≤ 75%, average intersection/overlap was defined as ≤ 50% and > 25% and non-substantial intersection/overlap was classified as ≤ 25% of coding references.

Results: Interview data were collected from 39 participants – 21 HCPs and 18 non HCPs. Mapping of TDF domains to CFIR domains/constructs identified key determinants in six TDF domains: Environmental context & resources, Beliefs about capabilities, Beliefs about consequences, Social influences, Behavioural regulation and Social/professional role & identity; and five CFIR domains: Intervention Characteristics, Outer Setting, Inner Setting, Characteristics of Individual and Process. A pattern of substantial intersection/overlap in coding emerged with broad TDF domains such as Environmental context & resources often linked to well-defined CFIR domains and constructs (e.g. design quality & packaging within Intervention Characteristics). Broad CFIR constructs such as knowledge & beliefs about intervention within Characteristics of Individuals also linked to more descriptive TDF domains like Beliefs about capabilities. In addition there was some unexpected non-substantial intersection/overlap in coding with the TDF domain Social influences less frequently linked to the CFIR Inner Setting domain and constructs such as networks and communications.

Conclusions: Identifying intersections/overlaps in coding between CFIR and TDF can assist interpretation of findings in implementation research. The strengths of each framework were exploited in a reciprocal process which provided more information to broad/poorly defined domains and enabled identification of implementation determinants and innovation determinants.


Health Research Board (HRB) Research Collaboration in Quality and Patient Safety (RCQPS) (Ref RCQPS-2019–14)

HRB award (RL-15–1579)



The original article is available at

Published Citation

O’Donovan B, Kirke C, Pate M, McHugh S, Bennett K, Cahir C. Mapping the Theoretical Domain Framework to the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research: do multiple frameworks add value? Implement Sci Commun 2023;4:100

Publication Date

24 August 2023

PubMed ID



  • Data Science Centre
  • School of Population Health


Springer Nature


  • Published Version (Version of Record)