28 November 2019

In BMC Medicine  Michel Wensing and Richard Grol observe that implementation science in health (and related fields) have met with increasing interest, particularly in North-America but also in other countries such as Germany. However, reflecting on the previous 30 years, they argue that relatively little scientific progress has made in the previous decade. They plea for dedicated research programs that address the current challenges in the field, such as the proliferation of concepts, the lack of validated methods for stakeholder involvement in intervention design, and the decreased use of rigorous designs for evaluation of implementation strategies. The development of the field should be supported by higher academic recognition of health research that directly supports decision makers.

Abstract

Background
Despite increasing interest in research on how to translate knowledge into practice and improve healthcare, the accumulation of scientific knowledge in this field is slow. Few substantial new insights have become available in the last decade.

Main body
Various problems hinder development in this field. There is a frequent misfit between problems and approaches to implementation, resulting in the use of implementation strategies that do not match with the targeted problems. The proliferation of concepts, theories and frameworks for knowledge transfer - many of which are untested - has not advanced the field. Stakeholder involvement is regarded as crucial for successful knowledge implementation, but many approaches are poorly specified and unvalidated. Despite the apparent decreased appreciation of rigorous designs for effect evaluation, such as randomized trials, these should remain within the portfolio of implementation research. Outcome measures for knowledge implementation tend to be crude, but it is important to integrate patient preferences and the increased precision of knowledge.

Conclusion
We suggest that the research enterprise be redesigned in several ways to address these problems and enhance scientific progress in the interests of patients and populations. It is crucially important to establish substantial programmes of research on implementation and improvement in healthcare, and better recognize the societal and practical benefits of research.

Publication
Knowledge translation in health: how implementation science could contribute more
Wensing M, Grol R.

Michel Wensing is member of theme Vascular damage.
Richard Grol is member of theme Healthcare improvement science.
 

Related news items


Participating in cancer research among people with intellectual disabilities

30 November 2021

Thanks to the support of the Maarten van der Weijden Foundation research was carried out into the participation of people with intellectual disabilities in (population) screening for cancer.

read more

Research into treatment for bladder pain syndrome will now be reimbursed

4 August 2021

Bladder pain syndrome, also called interstitial cystitis, is a chronic benign condition of the urinary bladder

read more

General practice examines treatment and persistent complaints COVID-19 ZonMw grant for three major projects

3 August 2021

ZonMw has granted a total of 4.3 million euros for research into the treatment of COVID-19 and the symptoms that many people continue to have afterwards (Lung COVID). The research group of the department Primary and Community Care Medicine is co-applicant of these research projects.

read more

Three Royal decorations for RIHS researchers

29 April 2019

Peter de Smet, Harry Surayapranata and Stans Verhagen received royal honours for their exceptional academic and social achievements.

read more

Report of the 12th New Frontiers symposium Better care, network care? - 2 November 2018

7 November 2018

No easy answers at this symposium last Friday, only challenges that can be overcome if we succeed in 5 things. First and most radically, put patients in the center of healthcare. Second, start with assessing what the local population needs and not what local professionals have to offer.

read more