A systematic review of empirical studies examining mechanisms of implementation in health.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Understanding the mechanisms of implementation strategies (i.e., the processes by which strategies produce desired effects) is important for research to understand why a strategy did or did not achieve its intended effect, and it is important for practice to ensure strategies are designed and selected to directly target determinants or barriers. This study is a systematic review to characterize how mechanisms are conceptualized and measured, how they are studied and evaluated, and how much evidence exists for specific mechanisms. METHODS:We systematically searched PubMed and CINAHL Plus for implementation studies published between January 1990 and August 2018 that included the terms "mechanism," "mediator," or "moderator." Two authors independently reviewed title and abstracts and then full texts for fit with our inclusion criteria of empirical studies of implementation in health care contexts. Authors extracted data regarding general study information, methods, results, and study design and mechanisms-specific information. Authors used the Mixed Methods Appraisal Tool to assess study quality. RESULTS:Search strategies produced 2277 articles, of which 183 were included for full text review. From these we included for data extraction 39 articles plus an additional seven articles were hand-entered from only other review of implementation mechanisms (total = 46 included articles). Most included studies employed quantitative methods (73.9%), while 10.9% were qualitative and 15.2% were mixed methods. Nine unique versions of models testing mechanisms emerged. Fifty-three percent of the studies met half or fewer of the quality indicators. The majority of studies (84.8%) only met three or fewer of the seven criteria stipulated for establishing mechanisms. CONCLUSIONS:Researchers have undertaken a multitude of approaches to pursue mechanistic implementation research, but our review revealed substantive conceptual, methodological, and measurement issues that must be addressed in order to advance this critical research agenda. To move the field forward, there is need for greater precision to achieve conceptual clarity, attempts to generate testable hypotheses about how and why variables are related, and use of concrete behavioral indicators of proximal outcomes in the case of quantitative research and more directed inquiry in the case of qualitative research.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services framework, or PARIHS, is a conceptual framework that posits key, interacting elements that influence successful implementation of evidence-based practices. It has been widely cited and used as the basis for empirical work; however, there has not yet been a literature review to examine how the framework has been used in implementation projects and research. The purpose of the present article was to critically review and synthesize the literature on PARIHS to understand how it has been used and operationalized, and to highlight its strengths and limitations.<h4>Methods</h4>We conducted a qualitative, critical synthesis of peer-reviewed PARIHS literature published through March 2009. We synthesized findings through a three-step process using semi-structured data abstraction tools and group consensus.<h4>Results</h4>Twenty-four articles met our inclusion criteria: six core concept articles from original PARIHS authors, and eighteen empirical articles ranging from case reports to quantitative studies. Empirical articles generally used PARIHS as an organizing framework for analyses. No studies used PARIHS prospectively to design implementation strategies, and there was generally a lack of detail about how variables were measured or mapped, or how conclusions were derived. Several studies used findings to comment on the framework in ways that could help refine or validate it. The primary issue identified with the framework was a need for greater conceptual clarity regarding the definition of sub-elements and the nature of dynamic relationships. Strengths identified included its flexibility, intuitive appeal, explicit acknowledgement of the outcome of 'successful implementation,' and a more expansive view of what can and should constitute 'evidence.'<h4>Conclusions</h4>While we found studies reporting empirical support for PARIHS, the single greatest need for this and other implementation models is rigorous, prospective use of the framework to guide implementation projects. There is also need to better explain derived findings and how interventions or measures are mapped to specific PARIHS elements; greater conceptual discrimination among sub-elements may be necessary first. In general, it may be time for the implementation science community to develop consensus guidelines for reporting the use and usefulness of theoretical frameworks within implementation studies.
Project description:BACKGROUND:This review of scholarly work in health care knowledge translation advances understanding of implementation components that support the complete and timely integration of new knowledge. We adopt a realist approach to investigate what is known from the current literature about the impact of, and the potential relationships between, context, complexity and implementation process. METHODS:Informed by two distinct pathways, knowledge utilization and knowledge translation, we utilize Rogers' Diffusion of Innovations theory (DOI) and Harvey and Kitson's integrated- Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Service framework (PARIHS) to ground this review. Articles from 5 databases; Medline, Scopus, PsycInfo, Web of Science, and Google Scholar and a search of authors were retrieved. Themes and patterns related to these implementation components were extracted. Literature was selected for inclusion by consensus. Data extraction was iterative and was moderated by the authors. RESULTS:A total of 67 articles were included in the review. Context was a central component to implementation. It was not clear how and to what extent context impacted implementation. Complexity was found to be a characteristic of context, implementation process, innovations and a product of the relationship between these three elements. Social processes in particular were reported as influential however; descriptions of how these social process impact were limited. Multiple theoretical and operational models were found to ground implementation processes. We offer an emerging conceptual model to illustrate the key discoveries. CONCLUSIONS:The review findings indicate there are dynamic relationship between context, complexity and implementation process for enhancing uptake of evidence-based knowledge in hospital settings. These are represented in a conceptual model. Limited empiric evidence was found to explain the nature of the relationships.
Project description:CONTEXT:The transition to clinical training within medical school is often seen as a struggle and students remain in distress despite numerous efforts to minimise threats. Efforts to change this may be misdirected if they are based on narrow conceptualisations of transitions. The authors conducted a scoping review to explore existing conceptual perspectives regarding the transition within medical school from pre-clinical training to clinical training to suggest a research agenda and practical implications. METHODS:Between October 2017 and February 2018 the authors searched PubMed, MEDLINE, ERIC, PsycINFO, Web of Science and CINAHL for English language literature with no date limits and retrieved 1582 articles; 46 were included in this review. Two reviewers independently screened articles and extracted data. Data were then charted, analysed and discussed with the research team. RESULTS:The transition to clinical training was often described negatively as 'difficult', 'a problem' and 'a struggle'. Our analysis found that researchers in medical education conducted studies on the transition to clinical training from three conceptual perspectives: educational; social, and developmental. Most research approached the transition to clinical training as a problem to be addressed from an educational perspective through transition to clerkship courses and curriculum innovations. Some research was conducted from a social perspective, focusing on building relationships. Regarding development, authors found a few articles highlighting opportunities for personal and professional development by nurturing transferrable learning strategies and reflection. CONCLUSIONS:This review provides an empirical base on which future research can be built to better understand and support medical students' ability to navigate change. Finding new perspectives to approach the transition to clinical training could allow researchers to look beyond preparing students for struggles.
Project description:Background: Partnership, engagement, and collaboration (PEC) are critical factors in dissemination and implementation (D&I) research. Despite a growing recognition that incorporating PEC strategies in D&I research is likely to increase the relevance, feasibility, impacts, and of evidence-based interventions or practices (EBIs, EBPs), conceptual frameworks and methodologies to guide the development and testing of PEC strategies in D&I research are lacking. To address this methodological gap, a review was conducted to summarize what we know, what we think we know, and what we need to know about PEC to inform D&I research. Methods: A cross-field scoping review, drawing upon a broad range of PEC related literature in health, was conducted. Publications reviewed focused on factors influencing PEC, and processes, mechanisms and strategies for promoting effective PEC. The review was conducted separately for three forms of partnerships that are commonly used in D&I research: (1) consumer-provider or patient-implementer partnership; (2) delivery system or implementation team partnership; and (3) sustainment/support or interagency/community partnership. A total of 39 studies, of which 21 were review articles, were selected for an in-depth review. Results: Across three forms of partnerships, four domains (cognitive, interpersonal/affective, behavioral, and contextual domains) were consistently identified as factors and strategies for promoting PEC. Depending on the stage (preparation or execution) and purpose of the partnership (regulating performance or managing maintenance), certain PEC strategies are more or less relevant. Recent developments of PEC frameworks, such as Partnership Stage of Change and multiple dynamic processes, provide more comprehensive conceptual explanations for PEC mechanisms, which can better guide PEC strategies selection and integration in D&I research. Conclusions: This review contributes to D&I knowledge by identifying critical domain factors, processes, or mechanisms, and key strategies for PEC, and offers a multi-level PEC framework for future research to build the evidence base. However, more research is needed to test PEC mechanisms.
Project description:It is widely acknowledged that health policy and management decisions rarely reflect research evidence. Therefore, it is important to determine how to improve evidence-informed decision-making. The primary aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the effectiveness of research implementation strategies for promoting evidence-informed policy and management decisions in healthcare. The secondary aim of the review was to describe factors perceived to be associated with effective strategies and the inter-relationship between these factors.An electronic search was developed to identify studies published between January 01, 2000, and February 02, 2016. This was supplemented by checking the reference list of included articles, systematic reviews, and hand-searching publication lists from prominent authors. Two reviewers independently screened studies for inclusion, assessed methodological quality, and extracted data.After duplicate removal, the search strategy identified 3830 titles. Following title and abstract screening, 96 full-text articles were reviewed, of which 19 studies (21 articles) met all inclusion criteria. Three studies were included in the narrative synthesis, finding policy briefs including expert opinion might affect intended actions, and intentions persisting to actions for public health policy in developing nations. Workshops, ongoing technical assistance, and distribution of instructional digital materials may improve knowledge and skills around evidence-informed decision-making in US public health departments. Tailored, targeted messages were more effective in increasing public health policies and programs in Canadian public health departments compared to messages and a knowledge broker. Sixteen studies (18 articles) were included in the thematic synthesis, leading to a conceptualisation of inter-relating factors perceived to be associated with effective research implementation strategies. A unidirectional, hierarchal flow was described from (1) establishing an imperative for practice change, (2) building trust between implementation stakeholders and (3) developing a shared vision, to (4) actioning change mechanisms. This was underpinned by the (5) employment of effective communication strategies and (6) provision of resources to support change.Evidence is developing to support the use of research implementation strategies for promoting evidence-informed policy and management decisions in healthcare. The design of future implementation strategies should be based on the inter-relating factors perceived to be associated with effective strategies.This systematic review was registered with Prospero (record number: 42016032947).
Project description:BACKGROUND:Normalization Process Theory (NPT) identifies, characterises and explains key mechanisms that promote and inhibit the implementation, embedding and integration of new health techniques, technologies and other complex interventions. A large body of literature that employs NPT to inform feasibility studies and process evaluations of complex healthcare interventions has now emerged. The aims of this review were to review this literature; to identify and characterise the uses and limits of NPT in research on the implementation and integration of healthcare interventions; and to explore NPT's contribution to understanding the dynamics of these processes. METHODS:A qualitative systematic review was conducted. We searched Web of Science, Scopus and Google Scholar for articles with empirical data in peer-reviewed journals that cited either key papers presenting and developing NPT, or the NPT Online Toolkit ( www.normalizationprocess.org ). We included in the review only articles that used NPT as the primary approach to collection, analysis or reporting of data in studies of the implementation of healthcare techniques, technologies or other interventions. A structured data extraction instrument was used, and data were analysed qualitatively. RESULTS:Searches revealed 3322 citations. We show that after eliminating 2337 duplicates and broken or junk URLs, 985 were screened as titles and abstracts. Of these, 101 were excluded because they did not fit the inclusion criteria for the review. This left 884 articles for full-text screening. Of these, 754 did not fit the inclusion criteria for the review. This left 130 papers presenting results from 108 identifiable studies to be included in the review. NPT appears to provide researchers and practitioners with a conceptual vocabulary for rigorous studies of implementation processes. It identifies, characterises and explains empirically identifiable mechanisms that motivate and shape implementation processes. Taken together, these mean that analyses using NPT can effectively assist in the explanation of the success or failure of specific implementation projects. Ten percent of papers included critiques of some aspect of NPT, with those that did mainly focusing on its terminology. However, two studies critiqued NPT emphasis on agency, and one study critiqued NPT for its normative focus. CONCLUSIONS:This review demonstrates that researchers found NPT useful and applied it across a wide range of interventions. It has been effectively used to aid intervention development and implementation planning as well as evaluating and understanding implementation processes themselves. In particular, NPT appears to have offered a valuable set of conceptual tools to aid understanding of implementation as a dynamic process.
Project description:The objective of this review was to describe methods used to study and model workflow. The authors included studies set in a variety of industries using qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods. Of the 6221 matching abstracts, 127 articles were included in the final corpus. The authors collected data from each article on researcher perspective, study type, methods type, specific methods, approaches to evaluating quality of results, definition of workflow and dependent variables. Ethnographic observation and interviews were the most frequently used methods. Long study durations revealed the large time commitment required for descriptive workflow research. The most frequently discussed technique for evaluating quality of study results was triangulation. The definition of the term "workflow" and choice of methods for studying workflow varied widely across research areas and researcher perspectives. The authors developed a conceptual framework of workflow-related terminology for use in future research and present this model for use by other researchers.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Substantial development assistance and research funding are invested in health research capacity strengthening (HRCS) interventions in low-income and middle-income countries, yet the effectiveness, impact and value for money of these investments are not well understood. A major constraint to evidence-informed HRCS intervention has been the disparate nature of the research effort to date. This review aims to map and critically analyse the existing HRCS effort to better understand the level, type, cohesion and conceptual sophistication of the current evidence base. The overall goal of this article is to advance the development of a unified, implementation-focused HRCS science. METHODS:We used a scoping review methodology to identify peer-reviewed HRCS literature within the following databases: PubMed, Global Health and Scopus. HRCS publications available in English between the period 2000 and 2016 were included. 1195 articles were retrieved of which 172 met the final inclusion criteria. A priori thematic analysis of all included articles was completed. Content analysis of identified HRCS definitions was conducted. RESULTS:The number of HRCS publications increased exponentially between 2000 and 2016. Most publications during this period were perspective, opinion or commentary pieces; however, original research publications were the primary publication type since 2013. Twenty-five different definitions of research capacity strengthening were identified, of which three aligned with current HRCS guidelines. CONCLUSIONS:The review findings indicate that an HRCS research field with a focus on implementation science is emerging, although the conceptual and empirical bases are not yet sufficiently advanced to effectively inform HRCS programme planning. Consolidating an HRCS implementation science therefore presents as a viable option that may accelerate the development of a useful evidence base to inform HRCS programme planning. Identifying an agreed operational definition of HRCS, standardising HRCS-related terminology, developing a needs-based HRCS-specific research agenda and synthesising currently available evidence may be useful first steps.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Some low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) struggle to implement smoke-free policies. We sought to review the academic and gray literature, and propose a research agenda to improve implementation of smoke-free policies and make them more effective in LMICs. METHODS:We reviewed 10 databases for variations of ('implementation' /'enforcement' /'compliance') and ('smoke-free' /'ban' /'restriction') and ('tobacco' /'smoking'). We also reviewed cited sources and the gray literature including non-governmental organization reports.We included articles that described problems that arose, attempted solutions, lessons learned, and research questions posed regarding smoke-free policy implementation in LMICs. We excluded studies of high-income countries, institution-level implementation, voluntary smoke-free policies, smoke-free homes, and outdoor smoke-free policies. RESULTS:The academic literature review led to 4931 unique articles, reduced to 1541 after title screening, 331 after abstract screening, and 101 after full-text review. The citation and gray literature review led to an additional 179 publications of which 67 met the inclusion criteria. In total we retained 168 sources. We conducted a narrative review and synthesis of the literature, extracting key themes and noting research gaps. CONCLUSIONS:We find that progress is urgently needed in five categories: identifying the critical lessons learned for effective implementation, evaluating different enforcement approaches, learning how to rejuvenate stalled smoke-free policies, learning how to increase ground-level will to enforce policies, and developing a conceptual framework that explains implementation. Investigation into these topics can improve implementation of smoke-free policies in LMICs.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Implementing evidence-based care requires healthcare practitioners to do less of some things (de-implementation) and more of others (implementation). Variations in effectiveness of behaviour change interventions may result from failure to consider a distinction between approaches by which behaviour increases and decreases in frequency. The distinction is not well represented in methods for designing interventions. This review aimed to identify whether there is a theoretical rationale to support this distinction. METHODS:Using Critical Interpretative Synthesis, this conceptual review included papers from a broad range of fields (biology, psychology, education, business) likely to report approaches for increasing or decreasing behaviour. Articles were identified from databases using search terms related to theory and behaviour change. Articles reporting changes in frequency of behaviour and explicit use of theory were included. Data extracted were direction of behaviour change, how theory was operationalised, and theory-based recommendations for behaviour change. Analyses of extracted data were conducted iteratively and involved inductive coding and critical exploration of ideas and purposive sampling of additional papers to explore theoretical concepts in greater detail. RESULTS:Critical analysis of 66 papers and their theoretical sources identified three key findings: (1) 9 of the 15 behavioural theories identified do not distinguish between implementation and de-implementation (5 theories were applied to only implementation or de-implementation, not both); (2) a common strategy for decreasing frequency was substituting one behaviour with another. No theoretical basis for this strategy was articulated, nor were methods proposed for selecting appropriate substitute behaviours; (3) Operant Learning Theory makes an explicit distinction between techniques for increasing and decreasing frequency. DISCUSSION:Behavioural theories provide little insight into the distinction between implementation and de-implementation. Operant Learning Theory identified different strategies for implementation and de-implementation, but these strategies may not be acceptable in health systems. Additionally, if behaviour substitution is an approach for de-implementation, further investigation may inform methods or rationale for selecting the substitute behaviour.