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Table 1 PHM oriented definitions of realist concepts

From: How executives’ expectations and experiences shape population health management strategies

PHM Strategy Refers to the intended plan of action [3, 13, 14]. Intended plans of action attempt to create changes by offering (or deducting) resources or opportunities in a given context [15]. In this study strategies refer to the reorganization and integration of public health, health care, social care and community services including ‘partner’ sectors (e.g. housing, transport), to promote the TA.
Context Pertains to the ‘backdrop’ of programs [13]. For example, the different multilevel sociocultural, historical, economic, political or relational conditions connected to the development of PHM by PHM initiatives that are also changed as a result of the implemented strategies and, which may cause certain mechanisms to be triggered.
Mechanism Refers to the generative force that leads to outcomes [14]. It denotes the changes in reasoning or behaviour of the various stakeholders (e.g. feelings of multi-disciplinary accountability triggered by the introduction of new financial incentives). Strategies should not be mistaken for mechanisms. Whereas strategies are the intended plans of action, mechanisms are the responses to the intentional resources that are offered [13].
Outcome Pertains to intended or unintended outcomes of strategies [13]. In this study, the reported outcomes are the measured outcomes as stated in the studies included in this review, e.g. changes in knowledge or new financial arrangements.
SCMO configurations SCMOs are heuristics that portray the relationships between strategies, context, mechanism, and outcome [3, 4, 7]. The SCMO configurations in the current study present the relationships between the strategies for PHM that, when implemented in a specific context, triggers mechanisms to cause certain outcomes.
Intended PHM strategies Refers to strategies based on stakeholders’ expectations and prior experiences regarding which strategies work and how and why they work; i.e. the relationships between strategies-contexts-mechanism-outcomes (SCMO configurations).