Enhancing Dissemination and Implementation Research Using Systems Science Methods.

TitleEnhancing Dissemination and Implementation Research Using Systems Science Methods.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsBurke JG, Lich KHassmiller, Neal JWatling, Meissner HI, Yonas M, Mabry PL
JournalInt J Behav Med
Date Published2014 May 23
ISSN1532-7558
Abstract

BACKGROUND: Dissemination and implementation (D&I) research seeks to understand and overcome barriers to adoption of behavioral interventions that address complex problems, specifically interventions that arise from multiple interacting influences crossing socio-ecological levels. It is often difficult for research to accurately represent and address the complexities of the real world, and traditional methodological approaches are generally inadequate for this task. Systems science methods, expressly designed to study complex systems, can be effectively employed for an improved understanding about dissemination and implementation of evidence-based interventions.PURPOSE: The aims of this study were to understand the complex factors influencing successful D&I of programs in community settings and to identify D&I challenges imposed by system complexity.METHOD: Case examples of three systems science methods-system dynamics modeling, agent-based modeling, and network analysis-are used to illustrate how each method can be used to address D&I challenges.RESULTS: The case studies feature relevant behavioral topical areas: chronic disease prevention, community violence prevention, and educational intervention. To emphasize consistency with D&I priorities, the discussion of the value of each method is framed around the elements of the established Reach Effectiveness Adoption Implementation Maintenance (RE-AIM) framework.CONCLUSION: Systems science methods can help researchers, public health decision makers, and program implementers to understand the complex factors influencing successful D&I of programs in community settings and to identify D&I challenges imposed by system complexity.

DOI10.1007/s12529-014-9417-3
Alternate JournalInt J Behav Med
PubMed ID24852184
Grant ListU54 GM088491 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
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