Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/15975
Appears in Collections:History and Politics Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Never the twain shall meet? - a comparison of implementation science and policy implementation research
Authors: Nilsen, Per
Stahl, Christian
Roback, Kerstin
Cairney, Paul
Contact Email: p.a.cairney@stir.ac.uk
Keywords: Policy
Implementation
Top-down
Bottom-up
Determinants
Context
Interdisciplinarity
Issue Date: 10-Jun-2013
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd
Citation: Nilsen P, Stahl C, Roback K & Cairney P (2013) Never the twain shall meet? - a comparison of implementation science and policy implementation research, Implementation Science, 8 (1), Art. No.: 63.
Abstract: Background: Many of society's health problems require research-based knowledge acted on by healthcare practitioners together with implementation of political measures from governmental agencies. However, there has been limited knowledge exchange between implementation science and policy implementation research, which has been conducted since the early 1970s. Based on a narrative review of selective literature on implementation science and policy implementation research, the aim of this paper is to describe the characteristics of policy implementation research, analyze key similarities and differences between this field and implementation science, and discuss how knowledge assembled in policy implementation research could inform implementation science. Discussion: Following a brief overview of policy implementation research, several aspects of the two fields were described and compared: the purpose and origins of the research; the characteristics of the research; the development and use of theory; determinants of change (independent variables); and the impact of implementation (dependent variables). The comparative analysis showed that there are many similarities between the two fields, yet there are also profound differences. Still, important learning may be derived from several aspects of policy implementation research, including issues related to the influence of the context of implementation and the values and norms of the implementers (the healthcare practitioners) on implementation processes. Relevant research on various associated policy topics, including The Advocacy Coalition Framework, Governance Theory, and Institutional Theory, may also contribute to improved understanding of the difficulties of implementing evidence in healthcare. Implementation science is at a relatively early stage of development, and advancement of the field would benefit from accounting for knowledge beyond the parameters of the immediate implementation science literature. Summary: There are many common issues in policy implementation research and implementation science. Research in both fields deals with the challenges of translating intentions into desired changes. Important learning may be derived from several aspects of policy implementation research.
Type: Journal Article
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1893/15975
DOI Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1748-5908-8-63
Rights: © 2013 Nilsen et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Affiliation: Linkoping University
Linkoping University
Linkoping University
Politics

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