Using Implementation Science to Guide the Integration of Evidence-Based Family Interventions into Primary Care


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Abstract

This article is a demonstration of how an implementation-science (IS) framework can be coupled with the measurement of implementation outcomes to effectively integrate evidence-based family interventions in primary care. The primary care environment presents a number of challenges for successfully integrating such interventions. However, IS methods can improve the prospect of successfully implementing a new intervention while simultaneously and rigorously evaluating the impact on salient outcomes. We used our experiences across 2 pilot trials in which the family check-up (Smith, Montaño, Mauricio, Berkel, & Dishion, 2016), an evidence-based family intervention, was integrated into primary care. In these pilot trials, the exploration, preparation, implementation, and sustainment (EPIS) framework and the Proctor et al. taxonomy of implementation outcomes were used to guide the implementation and evaluate its success. Grounding our presentation in our pilot work offers an illustration of applying the EPIS framework and outcomes measurement to real-world problems and contexts. When embarking on new efforts to integrate behavioral interventions into health-care settings, the application of IS frameworks and measurement strategies can create generalizable knowledge that substantively contributes to a sparse literature. Today, those “in the trenches” who are translating evidence-based interventions to their setting can contribute to the corpus of research in integrated care by using IS methods to plan a new program and evaluate its feasibility, adoption, and reach.

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