Implementation Science: Buzzword or Game Changer?

J Speech Lang Hear Res. 2015 Dec;58(6):S1827-36. doi: 10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-15-0302.


Purpose: The purpose of this supplement article is to provide a resource of pertinent information concerning implementation science for immediate research application in communication sciences and disorders.

Method: Key terminology related to implementation science is reviewed. Practical suggestions for the application of implementation science theories and methodologies are provided, including an overview of hybrid research designs that simultaneously investigate clinical effectiveness and implementation as well as an introduction to approaches for engaging stakeholders in the research process. A detailed example from education is shared to show how implementation science was utilized to move an intervention program for autism into routine practice in the public school system. In particular, the example highlights the value of strong partnership among researchers, policy makers, and frontline practitioners in implementing and sustaining new evidence-based practices.

Conclusions: Implementation science is not just a buzzword. This is a new field of study that can make a substantive contribution in communication sciences and disorders by informing research agendas, reducing health and education disparities, improving accountability and quality control, increasing clinician satisfaction and competence, and improving client outcomes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / therapy
  • Biomedical Research / methods*
  • Clinical Studies as Topic / methods*
  • Communication Disorders / therapy*
  • Health Plan Implementation / methods*
  • Humans
  • Speech-Language Pathology / methods*
  • Terminology as Topic