Background: In their article on "Evidence-based de-implementation for contradicted, unproven, and aspiring healthcare practices," Prasad and Ioannidis (IS 9:1, 2014) referred to extra-scientific "entrenched practices and other biases" that hinder evidence-based de-implementation.
Discussion: Using the case example of the de-implementation of radical mastectomy, we disaggregated "entrenched practices and other biases" and analyzed the historical, economic, professional, and social forces that presented resistance to de-implementation. We found that these extra-scientific factors operated to sustain a commitment to radical mastectomy, even after the evidence slated the procedure for de-implementation, because the factors holding radical mastectomy in place were beyond the control of individual clinicians. We propose to expand de-implementation theory through the inclusion of extra-scientific factors. If the outcome to which we aim is appropriate and timely de-implementation, social scientific analysis will illuminate the context within which the healthcare practitioner practices and, in doing so, facilitate de-implementation by pointing to avenues that lead to systems change. The implications of our analysis lead us to contend that intervening in the broader context in which clinicians work--the social, political, and economic realms--rather than focusing on healthcare professionals' behavior, may indeed be a fruitful approach to effect change.