Implementation Research as Applied Science: Bridging the Research to Practice Gap

Jun 28, 2019 | Livingood

Implementation research is intended to address challenges posed by the slow adoption of evidence-based science by the medical and health promotion practice community. A case study approach is used to illustrate and discuss the use of Quality improvement and Evaluation as an applied approach to implementation science in contrast of more classic purposes of research. Quality improvement was the implementation model used to facilitate organizational change needed to adopt the use of texting to report sexually transmitted infection test results in over a fifth of Florida’s larger county health departments. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used to evaluate implementation. All seven participating county health departments were successful in enrolling clients in texting with extensive variation (24% to 72%) in texting enrollment at the end of the 10-month study. Statistically significant outcomes for those enrolled in texting were recorded through Florida’s online sexually transmitted infection reporting system in the form of increased number of people receiving early (1-4 days) treatment and reductions in delayed (>/=8 days) or no treatment. This study illustrates an applied approach to implementation research which may be critical to adapt emerging evidence and technologies to the multiple and complex characteristics of the diverse populations served by health promotion institutions.

PubMed Abstract

Livingood, W. C., Bilello, L., Lukens-Bull, K., Smotherman, C., & Choe, U. (2019). Implementation Research as Applied Science: Bridging the Research to Practice Gap. Health Promot Pract, 1524839919858082. doi:10.1177/1524839919858082