Implementing evidence-based practice: the Process Evaluation method to assess implementation feasibility and effectiveness

21. November 2023

CTNR Qualification Programme

CTNR Qualification Programme: Methodology of translational research - I

Tuesday, Nov 21, 2023, h 12:00 - 13:00, Zoom Link

Presenter: Alice Grazia, Clinical Dementia Research, UMR and DZNE Rostock


The aim of implementation science is to promote the uptake of evidence-based practice (EBP) into clinical practice, by identifying or devising methods facilitating adoption. Specifically, it, generates insights and generalizable knowledge on the processes (e.g., sequences of specific steps or phases) needed to adopt treatments or procedures in practice. It also identifies determinants (e.g., barriers and facilitators) that influence the outcome of implementation. Towards this end, several implementation methodologies and frameworks have been developed. This heterogeneity presents a challenge to researchers and practitioners when having to choose the most appropriate theoretical approach to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of implementation.

In this session, we will introduce one commonly used implementation framework, the Process Evaluation (PE), first developed by the UK Medical Research Council in 2008. PE aims to understand how an intervention functions by examining its implementation fidelity (how the intervention was delivered), dose (the quantity of intervention implemented), reach (whether and how the intended audience comes into contact with the intervention); mechanisms of impact (e.g., how the intervention produced change); and contextual factors (e.g., barriers and facilitators). The focus of PE varies according to the stage of implementation. Indeed, PE may be conducted to test the feasibility of implementation of an intervention (e.g., analysis of hurdles and facilitators, end-users acceptability), so that changes to the intervention design can be made before adoption. PE can also be conducted during the piloting phase to test the technical and logistical processes needed for the real-world before large scale implementation. At a later stage, after implementation has taken place, PE aims to assess the intervention effectiveness. This assessment includes evaluating both the amount and quality of what was delivered, as well as analyzing contextual factors that contributed to implementation success or failure. Finally, PE can be used for monitoring when an intervention is already part of clinical routine, to guarantee its scalability or generalizability to other contexts.  Throughout the session, we will show participants practical examples of PE in the dementia field. The session will continue by providing key recommendations for PE planning, designing, conducting, analysis (e.g. mixed-methods) and reporting (e.g., StaRI guidelines). By the end of this session, students will learn how implementation frameworks, like PE, can guide implementation in practice.

Register on (Stud.IP)