Methodology issues in implementation science

Med Care. 2013 Apr;51(4 Suppl 2):S32-40. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0b013e31827feeca.


Background: Putting evidence into practice at the point of care delivery requires an understanding of implementation strategies that work, in what context and how.

Objective: To identify methodological issues in implementation science using 4 studies as cases and make recommendations for further methods development.

Research design: Four cases are presented and methodological issues identified. For each issue raised, evidence on the state of the science is described.

Results: Issues in implementation science identified include diverse conceptual frameworks, potential weaknesses in pragmatic study designs, and the paucity of standard concepts and measurement.

Conclusions: Recommendations to advance methods in implementation include developing a core set of implementation concepts and metrics, generating standards for implementation methods including pragmatic trials, mixed methods designs, complex interventions and measurement, and endorsing reporting standards for implementation studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / prevention & control
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Counseling
  • Diffusion of Innovation*
  • Evidence-Based Practice*
  • Foundations
  • Humans
  • Nursing Staff
  • Organizational Innovation
  • Patient Care Team
  • Patient Discharge
  • Patient Readmission
  • Personnel Turnover
  • Quality Improvement*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Research Support as Topic
  • Research*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Smoking Cessation
  • United States