Using the Practical, Robust Implementation and Sustainability Model (PRISM) to qualitatively assess multilevel contextual factors to help plan, implement, evaluate, and disseminate health services programs

Transl Behav Med. 2019 Nov 25;9(6):1002-1011. doi: 10.1093/tbm/ibz085.


There is consensus in dissemination and implementation (D&I) science that addressing contextual factors is critically important for understanding translation of health care delivery interventions but little agreement on which contextual factors are key determinants of implementation outcomes. We describe the application of the Practical Robust Implementation and Sustainability Model (PRISM), which expands the Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, Maintenance (RE-AIM) framework to identify contextual factors across four diverse programs. Multiple qualitative methods were used to collect multilevel, multistakeholder perspectives from the adopting organizations and staff. We identified measures for evaluating context through the various domains of PRISM to guide health services research across the phases of program implementation. The PRISM domains of Recipients, Implementation and Sustainability Infrastructure, and External Environment identified important multilevel contextual factors, including variability in operational processes and available resources. These domains helped to facilitate planning and implementation phases of the four interventions and guide purposeful adaptations. We found assessments of PRISM domains useful to systematically assess multilevel contextual factors across various content areas as well as phases of program implementation. Additionally, these contextual factors were found to be relevant to RE-AIM outcomes. Lessons learned can be applied to future research as there is a need to investigate the measurement properties of PRISM and continue to test which contextual factors are most important to successful implementation and for which outcomes.

Keywords: Assessment; Context; Contextual factors; Implementation; PRISM.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Delivery of Health Care*
  • Health Planning*
  • Health Services Research*
  • Humans
  • Implementation Science
  • Models, Organizational
  • Multilevel Analysis
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Stakeholder Participation*