Implementation research: what it is and how to do itBMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f6753 (Published 20 November 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f6753
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As a senior medical student who spends a lot of his time keeping abreast of the latest published papers, I have to say reading this article has given me much hope for the future of clinical research. I have too often found myself, at the conclusion of a published paper, wondering - "so what was the relevance of this?" Whilst it must be acknowledged here that the idyllic goal of carrying out clinical trials of a new intervention in a real world setting is often mired by litigation and difficulties, it is certainly an admirable goal and one that we should more readily pursue.
Whilst the construction of an 'Effectiveness-implementation hybrid trial' may be more time-consuming than a conventional control trial, surely the dual research outcomes of acknowledging the benefit of the intervention and the method via which it was delivered would outweigh the inconvenience of trial assembly.
It is nice to have a reminder sometimes about what the true purpose of clinical research should be - identifying specific changes to practise that can lead to tangible benefits in patient care. Implementation research helps to bring this into sharp focus right from the off, and could ultimately streamline the process of introducing new ideas from paper to the bedside.
It's important to clarify at this point that my experience in organising trials and conducting research is negligible, so I'd love to hear from practitioners or academics with extensive knowledge of this field about their views on the advent of implementation research, how practical it is, and the difficulties associated with it as compared to more 'old school' methods.
Competing interests: No competing interests