About this Research Topic
The purpose of this Research Topic is to share the latest developments in the methods and application of Implementation Science (IS). IS is the study of methods to promote the adoption and integration of evidence-based practices, interventions, and policies into routine health care and public health settings. Implementation research plays an important role in identifying barriers to, and enablers of, effective health systems programming and policymaking, and then leveraging that knowledge to implement evidence-based innovations into effective delivery approaches.
A finding in now classic research found that only about half of evidence-based practices ever reach widespread clinical usage. Of those that do, an average of 17 years is required for them to be incorporated into routine general practice in health care. IS has come about to address these gaps in the transfer from research to practice. Scientific study of methods to promote the systematic and rapid uptake of research findings into routine practice is urgently needed in order to improve disease prevention as well as the quality and effectiveness of health care. Over the past two decades, leading implementation scientists and publication venues have advanced methods and applications in IS, particularly those related to the clinical care of individual patients. Yet the scope of the scientific agenda is broader still, focusing not only at the patient level but also at the provider, organizational, systems, and policy levels pertaining to health and health care. Growing awareness of the importance of the social determinants of health brings the contribution of IS to an even broader range of topics related to population health. If evidence is to be used to improve public health, it needs to be effectively implemented into programs and policies. Conversely, ineffective programs and policies need to be de-implemented using scientifically robust methods. New IS insights from a broader range of researchers, disciplines, and health systems perspectives are essential.
This theme issue on Methods and Applications in Implementation Science builds upon nine years of Annual Conferences on the Science of Dissemination and Implementation in Health (D&I) co-hosted by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and AcademyHealth. As the pre-eminent event to bridge the gap between evidence, practice, and policy in health and health care, many new scientists and scholars have been brought into the IS field. This Research Topic hopes to break down disciplinary silos and thus invites a wide spectrum of fields to address key issues in IS methods and applications. Findings from such a collected set of papers by health professionals working in a variety of venues is anticipated to yield substantial improvements in the health of individuals, families, communities, and societies.
Types of papers sought
We are interested in a variety of Article Types that develop or evaluate approaches to adapting interventions or implementation strategies for diverse contexts, target audiences, and conditions. We invite evaluations of innovative models, methods, and measures that capture the dynamic process of dissemination and implementation across time and place. Given the global implications of IS, research and evaluations that advance the understanding of scale up and sustainability in dissemination and implementation research from resource constrained and international settings are welcome. Applications of community, system, or population level implementation that improve health equity or advance public health are of special relevance.
Keywords: implementation science, translational research, knowledge translation, dissemination and implementation research, dissemination of knowledge