Abstract: Lessons learned on projects of implementation science

The following abstract was presented at the Implementation Science and Global Health satellite meeting on March 17, 2010 at Bethesda, Maryland.


José M. Belizán, MD, PhD
Senior Scientist
Institute for Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy


  • Fernando Althabe, MD, MSc, Institute for Clinical Effectiveness and Health Policy
  • Pierre Buekens, MD, PhD, Tulane University

FIC Award


Research projects from our group on implementation science (IS) have shown both successes and challenges.  As such, we have identified the following strategies to reinforce future studies:

  1. Design of complex interventions to scale up well-known, beneficial health care practices should be mainly based in multiple or the sum of single interventions that have been previously shown effective.
  2. Prior to the implementation of the trial, it is mandatory to perform formative research to assess the barriers that should be overcome, and to tailor the intervention to the multiple actors and situations where the intervention will be applied.
  3. Rigorous experimental design that is able to provide conclusive evidence should be adopted for evaluating the intervention effect.  Although randomized trials involve a costly and complex structure, they are still the first method of choice.  Cluster randomization is an attractive design to test implementation interventions.

To contribute to the dissemination of implementation science, we are developing within our Fogarty program a free online course.  The course will show the disciplines involved in IS, how to assess the evidence, the development of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, behavioral interventions to implement guidelines, and the evaluation of the effectiveness of implementation interventions.

Updated May 2010