Implementation Resources Reference List for the CEBC
The Implementation Resources Reference List for the CEBC provides citations and abstracts from articles that have been published in peer-reviewed, published literature about implementation science as it relates to evidence-based practice. This list will be updated as new information becomes available.
Aarons, G. A., Horowitz, J. D., Dlugosz, L. R., & Ehrhart, M. G. (in press). The role of organizational processes in dissemination and implementation research. In R. Brownson, G. Colditz, & E. Proctor (Eds.) Dissemination and implementation research in health: Translating science to practice. Oxford University Press.
A number of organizational characteristics and specific organizational strategies can be utilized to promote the effective implementation of evidence-based practices (EBP) into mental health, child welfare, and other social service settings. Some organizational factors are likely to be more or less important across the four phases of implementation: Exploration, Adoption Decision/preparation, Active Implementation, and Sustainment. Implementation is done by people in organizations creating organizational contexts open to change and supporting staff motivation and resources to implement and sustain that change. This chapter reviews a number of organizational issues important in implementing and sustaining innovations and change. Specifically, this chapter examines (1) Organizational culture, including underlying assumptions, espoused values, behavioral norms, patterns of behavior and artifacts, (2) Organizational climate, (3) Strategic climate (e.g., climate for EBP implementation), (4), Leadership, (5) Leadership and organizational change, (6) Organizational readiness for change including “change valences” (i.e., Is the change perceived as worthwhile?), “change efficacy” (i.e., Are we capable of making the change?), and discrepancy (i.e., belief that change is needed due to a service gap), (7) Attitudes toward adopting EBP, and (8) The use of process improvement approaches for quality improvement. It is imperative that those responsible for the implementation of EBPs take action to first identify the organizational issues to address. Then effective organizational change strategies must be utilized and consistently applied in order to improve the culture and climate of the organization in order to more effectively implement effective innovations and practices.
Aarons, G. A., Hurlburt, M., & McCue Horwitz, S. (2011). Advancing a conceptual model of evidence-based practice implementation in public service sectors. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 38, 4-23.
Implementation science is a quickly growing discipline. Lessons learned from business and medical settings are being applied but it is unclear how well they translate to settings with different historical origins and customs (e.g., public mental health, social service, alcohol/drug sectors). The purpose of this paper is to propose a multi-level, four phase model of the implementation process (i.e., Exploration, Adoption/Preparation, Implementation, Sustainment), derived from extant literature, and apply it to public sector services. We highlight features of the model likely to be particularly important in each phase, while considering the outer and inner contexts (i.e., levels) of public sector service systems.
Mendel, P., Meredith, L. S., Schoenbaum, M., Sherbourne, C. D., & Wells, K. B. (2008). Interventions in organizational and community context: A framework for building evidence on dissemination and implementation in health services research. Administration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research, 35, 21-37.
The effective dissemination and implementation of evidence-based health interventions within community settings is an important cornerstone to expanding the availability of quality health and mental health services. Yet it has proven a challenging task for both research and community stakeholders. This paper presents the current framework developed by the UCLA/RAND NIMH Center to address this research-to-practice gap by: (1) providing a theoretically-grounded understanding of the multi-layered nature of community and healthcare contexts and the mechanisms by which new practices and programs diffuse within these settings; (2) distinguishing among key components of the diffusion process—including contextual factors, adoption, implementation, and sustainment of interventions—showing how evaluation of each is necessary to explain the course of dissemination and outcomes for individual and organizational stakeholders; (3) facilitating the identiﬁcation of new strategies for adapting, disseminating, and implementing relatively complex, evidence-based healthcare and improvement interventions, particularly using a community-based, participatory approach; and (4) enhancing the ability to meaningfully generalize ﬁndings across varied interventions and settings to build an evidence base on successful dissemination and implementation strategies.
Palinkas, L. A., Holloway, I. W., Fuentes, D., Wu, Q., & Chamberlain, P. (2011). Social networks and implementation of evidence-based practices in public youth-serving systems: A mixed-methods study. Implementation Science, 6(113). doi:10.1186/1748-5908-6-113
Background: The present study examines the structure and operation of social networks of information and advice and their role in making decisions as to whether to adopt new evidence-based practices (EBPs) among agency directors and other program professionals in 12 California counties participating in a large randomized controlled trial.
Methods: Interviews were conducted with 38 directors, assistant directors, and program managers of county probation, mental health, and child welfare departments. Grounded-theory analytic methods were used to identify themes related to EBP adoption and network influences. A web-based survey collected additional quantitative information on members of information and advice networks of study participants. A mixed-methods approach to data analysis was used to create a sociometric data set (n = 176) for examination of associations between advice seeking and network structure.
Results: Systems leaders develop and maintain networks of information and advice based on roles, responsibility, geography, and friendship ties. Networks expose leaders to information about EBPs and opportunities to adopt EBPs; they also influence decisions to adopt EBPs. Individuals in counties at the same stage of implementation accounted for 83% of all network ties. Networks in counties that decided not to implement a specific EBP had no extra-county ties. Implementation of EBPs at the two-year follow-up was associated with the size of county, urban versus rural counties, and in-degree centrality. Collaboration was viewed as critical to implementing EBPs, especially in small, rural counties where agencies have limited resources on their own.
Conclusions: Successful implementation of EBPs requires consideration and utilization of existing social networks of high-status systems leaders that often cut across service organizations and their geographic jurisdictions.
Raghavan, R., Bright, C. L., & Shadoin, A. L. (2008). Toward a policy ecology of implementation of evidence-based practices in public mental health settings. Implementation Science, 3(26), 1-9.
Mental health policymaking to support the implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs) largely has been directed toward clinicians. However, implementation is known to be dependent upon a broader ecology of service delivery. Hence, focusing exclusively on individual clinicians as targets of implementation is unlikely to result in sustainable and widespread implementation of EBPs. Policymaking that is informed by the implementation literature requires that policymakers deploy strategies across multiple levels of the ecology of implementation. At the organizational level, policies are needed to resource the added marginal costs of EBPs, and to assist organizational learning by re-engineering continuing education units. At the payor and regulatory levels, policies are needed to creatively utilize contractual mechanisms, develop disease management programs and similar comprehensive care management approaches, carefully utilize provider and organizational profiling, and develop outcomes assessment. At the political level, legislation is required to promote mental health parity, reduce discrimination, and support loan forgiveness programs. Regulations are also needed to enhance consumer and family engagement in an EBP agenda. And at the social level, approaches to combat stigma are needed to ensure that individuals with mental health need access services. The implementation literature suggests that a single policy decision, such as mandating a specific EBP, is unlikely to result in sustainable implementation. Policymaking that addresses in an integrated way the ecology of implementation at the levels of provider organizations, governmental regulatory agencies, and their surrounding political and societal milieu is required to successfully and sustainably implement EBPs over the long term.