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Table 2 Definitions of key terms applied in theory development

From: Acceptability of healthcare interventions: an overview of reviews and development of a theoretical framework

Key term Definition
Conceptual definition Defines a construct in abstract or theoretical terms
Operational definition Defines a construct by specifying the procedures used to measure that construct
Concept Mental representation of a kind or category of items or ideas (APA, 2017) [65]
Construct The building block for theorising (Glanz et al., 2008) [66]
Conceptualisation Involves concept formation, which establishes the meaning of a construct by elaborating the nomological network and defining important subdomains of its meaning (p. 4 Hox 1997 [33])
Operationalization Involves the translation of a theoretical construct into observable variables by specifying empirical indicators for the concept and its subdomains (p. 4 Hox, 1997 [33])