Chloe Sweetnam has a background in healthcare quality improvement. She received her MSc. in implementation and improvement science at King’s College London, before joining Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Department of Neurology where she manages and evaluates the implementation of digital health programs and collaborative care models. Chloe’s research interests include implementation research methodological quality and health information technology implementation.
The need for quantitative criteria to appraise the quality of implementation research has recently been highlighted to improve methodological rigor. The Implementation Science Research development (ImpRes) tool and supplementary guide provide methodological guidance and recommendations on how to design high-quality implementation research. Here we report the development of the Implementation Science Research Project Appraisal Criteria (ImpResPAC) tool, a quantitative appraisal tool, developed based on the structure and content of ImpRes, to evaluate the conceptual and methodological quality of implementation research.
This study employed a two-stage, prospective mixed-methods design. In stage 1, the 10 domains of the ImpRes tool, guidance and recommendations contained in the supplementary guide and within the literature, were mapped to ImpResPAC. In stage 2, an international multi-disciplinary expert group, recruited through purposive sampling, informed the refinement of ImpResPAC, including content, scoring system and user instructions. We also calculated descriptive characteristics for each domain.
We developed an initial version of ImpResPAC containing 55 items, indicating high-quality implementation research across 10 domains. ImpResPAC tool users assign a global score from 1-5 to each domain, indicating the quality of an implementation project.
69 experts, from 8 countries, reviewed and provided feedback, including modifications and suggestions for improvement, on one or more ImpResPAC domains. Across 10 ImpResPAC domains, 50-75% of experts believe that the initial ImpResPAC domain items represented and reflected high-quality conceptual and methodological elements of implementation research. We are currently modifying ImpResPAC based on the extensive expert feedback we have received.
We have developed a quantitative appraisal tool, ImpResPAC, to allow implementation research stakeholders, primarily grant reviewers and educators, to undertake a comprehensive and transparent appraisal of the quality of implementation research. The next step of this research is to evaluate the psychometric properties of ImpResPAC.