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Since their codification in 2012 by Curran and colleagues, hybrid effectiveness-implementation trial designs have become increasingly prevalent in implementation research. The designs’ primary purpose is to speed the translation of research evidence into routine practice, by conducting aspects of ...

Since their codification in 2012 by Curran and colleagues, hybrid effectiveness-implementation trial designs have become increasingly prevalent in implementation research. The designs’ primary purpose is to speed the translation of research evidence into routine practice, by conducting aspects of effectiveness research alongside implementation research. To simultaneously study the effectiveness of an intervention and the strategies/mechanisms for its implementation, hybrid designs integrate multiple data sources and analytical approaches. What data/methods are combined, and how they are combined, are shaped by myriad design decisions, which also specify where exactly on the effectiveness-to-implementation continuum a hybrid trial stands.

As hybrid designs enter their second decade of widespread use, this Research Topic aims to fuel the field’s discourse on the past, present, and future of hybrid designs. First, critical assessments of hybrid designs in past trials would elucidate the designs’ heterogeneous characterizations and extents of success. Second, innovative use of hybrid designs in current trials would enable more appropriate and, potentially, more efficient concurrent study of effectiveness and implementation. Third, proposed advancements of hybrid designs in future trials would establish the research agenda for enhancing the field’s knowledge of hybrid designs, especially regarding whether the designs actually speed the translation of research evidence into routine practice and how.

We welcome submissions of Original/Brief Research, Review (Systematic/Mini/Other), Methods, and Perspective articles that relate to, but are not limited to, the following hybrid designs-related themes:

• Syntheses of published hybrid trials’ attributes (such as type of research designs used, outcomes selected) and validity (related to questions of bias and quality of research conducted).
• Innovations in the designs and statistics used for hybrid trials that test implementation research hypotheses.
• Unique challenges and opportunities for mixed-methods evaluation of hybrid trials.
• Examinations of the utility/value of hybrid designs and whether they make a difference.
• Trends, gaps, and limitations in approaches to economic analyses of hybrid trials.
• Roles of interdisciplinarity in hybrid designs-based implementation research.
• Characteristics of interventions and strategies/mechanisms that influence hybrid designs.
• Viewpoints, conceptual guides, and practical considerations for designing hybrid trials.

Aligning to the scope of Frontiers in Health Services, we envision this Research Topic being approachable and of interest to the global community of health care stakeholders beyond implementation researchers. Hence, we urge submitting authors to have their manuscript (as applicable).

• Adhere to reporting standards (e.g., guidelines available through the EQUATOR network)
• Be transparent about potential sources of bias in sharing findings and/or perspectives.
• Communicate the relevance of shared findings/perspectives beyond implementation science.
• Define context- and/or implementation science-specific terminologies used.

Keywords: hybrid effectiveness-implementation trials, mixed-methods evaluation, knowledge translation, evidence-based interventions, implementation strategies


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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