Implementation science is the study of methods and strategies to promote the adoption, implementation and sustained uptake of evidenced-based interventions into routine practice, with the aim of improving health outcomes and services. Within this relatively new field, implementation research stakeholders have highlighted a need for criteria that can be used to objectively assess the quality of implementation research.
Members of the KIS team are collaborating on a project led by researchers within the Centre for Implementation Science at King’s College London to develop and evaluate a new tool designed to do just that: the Implementation Science Research Project Appraisal Criteria (ImpResPAC) tool.
The ImpResPAC quantitative tool is designed to evaluate the conceptual and methodological quality of implementation research, and is primarily intended to be used by grant reviewers and educators. The new tool is based on the structure and content of the Implementation Science Research development (ImpRes) tool and supplementary guide, developed by the KIS team, which advises implementation research teams and practitioners working in healthcare on how to design high-quality implementation science research and projects.
Dr Louise Hull, who is supervising the research project, describes its aims. “We want ImpResPAC to provide implementation research stakeholders, particularly grant reviewers and educators, with a comprehensive, transparent and fair appraisal of the conceptual and methodological quality of implementation research.
We hope the tool will increase the likelihood of funding high-quality implementation research that will generate knowledge and contribute to the advancement of the field and ultimately improve health outcomes and services,” she says.
How the study will be conducted
The researchers will carry out the project in three stages:
- Stage 1: the researchers will map core elements of the ImpRes tool, guidance and recommendations contained in the supplementary guide and wider research literature, to ImpResPAC
- Stage 2: an international multidisciplinary group of experts will help to refine ImpResPAC, including the content, scoring system and user instructions
- Stage 3: the researchers will carry out an extensive psychometric evaluation of ImpResPAC
The research team will test the effectiveness of the ImpResPAC tool by applying it to 50 research protocols published in the journal Implementation Science.
This research project is being led by Chloe Sweetnam, a postgraduate researcher at The Kinetix Group. The team is made up of researchers at KIS (see below) as well as Dr Rachel Davis, senior research fellow and Dr Ioannis Bakolis, senior lecturer in biostatistics and epidemiology, both based in the Centre for Implementation Science, King’s College London.
Meet the project team
Dr Louise Hull
Deputy director of the centre for implementation science, King’s College London
Dr Lucy Goulding
Programme manager for King’s Improvement Science, King’s College London
Dr Andy Healey
Senior health economist, King’s Improvement Science, King’s College London