Research Topic

Supporting the Pandemic Response? Implementation Science in the Time of Covid-19

About this Research Topic

This Research Topic is launched in collaboration with the 4th UK Implementation Science Research Conference, organised by the National Institute for Health Research Applied Research Collaboration, South London and hosted by King's College London.

This call is open to papers presented at the 4th UK Implementation Science Research Conference as well as submissions from individuals who did not attend the conference, but are undertaking research relevant to the Research Topic.

Building upon the conference theme, the Research Topic aims to showcase implementation research that has directly informed the Covid-19 pandemic response globally. The Research Topic further aims to include research and evaluation work that is more broadly relevant – for example, research that is supporting long-term changes in clinical practice or public health policy that the pandemic has sparked.

The impact of Covid-19 on individuals, healthcare, healthcare systems and societies is far-reaching, worldwide. Implementation science as a field has much to offer in helping to understand some of the issues we face now and will continue to face in the future because of the pandemic. We envisage that through implementation research we can begin to understand what we can to do to help overcome some of these issues so that we can close gaps in care delivery , address old and new inequalities and improve health, social and societal outcomes moving forward.

We aim to be self-critical of the science – asking not only how implementation science has helped the pandemic response, but also how it may have done more or what it may have done differently and what lessons can we take from this in developing the field in the future?

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
• The development and delivery of preventative interventions to reduce the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and reduce rates of COVID-19
• The adaption of existing interventions (e.g. changing care delivery to an online method), because of COVID-19; the conceptual and methodological approaches used to achieve effective adaption
• Innovative ways of working and new technologies to improve efficiency while working during and in the wake of the pandemic – with a focus on early and ongoing implementation aspects
• Theoretical approaches and concepts that have been applied to understand gaps in health and social care inequalities and how these can be addressed
• Conceptual or empirical studies of implementation theories and frameworks as used to drive implementation during the pandemic; how such theories have been used to evaluate pandemic responses; and how such theories can be used alongside other theoretical traditions (e.g., complexity theory, crisis preparedness and response frameworks and others).
• Healthcare professionals’, health and social care organisations, commissioners’, patients’, and patient representatives’ perspectives on new challenges faced with health and social care service delivery because of Covid-19 and how some of these challenges can be overcome.


Topic Editor, Nick Sevdalis, is the director of the London Safety and Training Solutions Ltd, which offers training in patient safety, implementation solutions and human factors to healthcare organisations and the pharmaceutical industry. All other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with relation to the Research Topic.


Keywords: Covid-19, implementation science, pandemic


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

This Research Topic is launched in collaboration with the 4th UK Implementation Science Research Conference, organised by the National Institute for Health Research Applied Research Collaboration, South London and hosted by King's College London.

This call is open to papers presented at the 4th UK Implementation Science Research Conference as well as submissions from individuals who did not attend the conference, but are undertaking research relevant to the Research Topic.

Building upon the conference theme, the Research Topic aims to showcase implementation research that has directly informed the Covid-19 pandemic response globally. The Research Topic further aims to include research and evaluation work that is more broadly relevant – for example, research that is supporting long-term changes in clinical practice or public health policy that the pandemic has sparked.

The impact of Covid-19 on individuals, healthcare, healthcare systems and societies is far-reaching, worldwide. Implementation science as a field has much to offer in helping to understand some of the issues we face now and will continue to face in the future because of the pandemic. We envisage that through implementation research we can begin to understand what we can to do to help overcome some of these issues so that we can close gaps in care delivery , address old and new inequalities and improve health, social and societal outcomes moving forward.

We aim to be self-critical of the science – asking not only how implementation science has helped the pandemic response, but also how it may have done more or what it may have done differently and what lessons can we take from this in developing the field in the future?

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
• The development and delivery of preventative interventions to reduce the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and reduce rates of COVID-19
• The adaption of existing interventions (e.g. changing care delivery to an online method), because of COVID-19; the conceptual and methodological approaches used to achieve effective adaption
• Innovative ways of working and new technologies to improve efficiency while working during and in the wake of the pandemic – with a focus on early and ongoing implementation aspects
• Theoretical approaches and concepts that have been applied to understand gaps in health and social care inequalities and how these can be addressed
• Conceptual or empirical studies of implementation theories and frameworks as used to drive implementation during the pandemic; how such theories have been used to evaluate pandemic responses; and how such theories can be used alongside other theoretical traditions (e.g., complexity theory, crisis preparedness and response frameworks and others).
• Healthcare professionals’, health and social care organisations, commissioners’, patients’, and patient representatives’ perspectives on new challenges faced with health and social care service delivery because of Covid-19 and how some of these challenges can be overcome.


Topic Editor, Nick Sevdalis, is the director of the London Safety and Training Solutions Ltd, which offers training in patient safety, implementation solutions and human factors to healthcare organisations and the pharmaceutical industry. All other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with relation to the Research Topic.


Keywords: Covid-19, implementation science, pandemic


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

15 March 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

15 March 2022 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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