Leah’s research centres around the development of implementation tools to improve implementation processes within integrated care systems, with a focus on implementation context assessment, stakeholder engagement, and co-development processes. With a background in Psychology, Leah is especially interested in improving the implementation of preventative interventions for mental health.
Previously, Leah was part of a European study that aimed to improve the implementation of internet-delivered Cognitive Behavioural Therapy across Europe and Australia through a tailored approach to implementation. Leah has a special interest in quantitative implementation outcome measures and their psychometric validation and is currently part of different international working groups to validate a normalisation measurement. Since 2019, Leah has the position of the Scientific Secretary of the European Implementation Collaborative (EIC) which involves academic projects, such as a stream of work on implementation support practices.
Implementing interventions across complex systems, at different levels and between different professional groups and organisations is challenging. Co-design methods have the potential to support implementation of boundary-crossing interventions but are often used implicit. We aimed to make these processes explicit and reflected with stakeholders on the benefits of co-design methods for their own implementation practices.
In this study, an implementation toolkit that supports the integration of health and social care in the Integrated Care System of North East England was co-developed. Regional stakeholders (n=13), including health care professionals, service users, and decision makers, were invited to participate in a series of seven co-development workshops. Workshops were conducted according to a systematic intervention development process. After each workshop, participants rated the workshops on five questions ranging from overall satisfaction to how the workshop might have influenced individual practices. The workshops were held online, recorded, and transcribed.
The workshops resulted in a series of co-developed materials, including a comprehensive context assessment, a list of local determinants to implementation, a detailed power-interest mapping of key stakeholders for local implementation, planned implementation activities, and best practice examples for implementation. Feedback from participants indicated how useful such workshops are for their own practices. The workshops stimulated the exchange of perspectives among stakeholders from different backgrounds, facilitated the sharing of best practices, and established new collaborations that directly impact workshop participants’ daily practice. This being an implicit product of the workshops, it raised the question of how we can best utilise co-development workshops as part of an implementation process.
Co-development workshops have the potential to be an explicit implementation strategy. If considered during study planning, such workshops have the potential to build capacity for participant’s individual practices as well as to contribute to an infrastructure that will ultimately support implementation of the co-developed materials in practice.