Enhancing Impact: A Call to Action for Equitable Implementation Science

Oct 25, 2023 | Shelton

Despite investments in evidence-based interventions and Implementation Science, most evidence-based interventions are not widely or routinely adopted, delivered, or sustained in many real-world community and healthcare settings. This gap is even greater in settings and populations experiencing numerous social and structural barriers to health, with important implications for persistent patterns in health inequities. In this Viewpoint, as part of a Special Issue on Advancing the Adaptability of Chronic Disease Prevention and Management through Implementation Science, we outline seven calls to action for the field of Implementation Science, with the goal of encouraging researchers, practitioners, and funders to be more intentional and accountable in applying Implementation Science to have greater impact on promoting health equity. Calls to action include (1) enhance public health, community, and multi-sectoral partnerships to promote health equity and equitable implementation; (2) revisit and build the evidence base needed to promote health equity and impact at multiple levels; (3) prioritize focus on policy development, dissemination, and implementation; (4) be agile and responsive in application of Implementation Science frameworks, processes, and methods; (5) identify and redefine meaningful metrics for equity and impact; (6) disseminate scientific evidence and research to a diverse range of partners and potential beneficiaries; and (7) extend focus on de-implementation, mis-implementation, and sustainability which are central to enhancing health equity. Additionally, we outline why a focus on prevention and public health is essential to making progress towards health equity in Implementation Science, summarize important advancements that the field has made towards making equity more foundational, and pose important research questions to enhance equitable impact of work in this area.

PubMed Abstract

Shelton, R. C., & Brownson, R. C. (2023). Enhancing Impact: A Call to Action for Equitable Implementation Science. Prev Sci. doi:10.1007/s11121-023-01589-z