Factors Affecting Implementation of an Evidence-Based Practice in the Veterans Health Administration: Illness Management and Recovery

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Abstract

Objective: Illness management and recovery (IMR) is an evidence-based practice that assists consumers in managing their illnesses and pursuing personal recovery goals. Although research has examined factors affecting IMR implementation facilitated by multifaceted, active roll-outs, the current study attempted to elucidate factors affecting IMR implementation outside the context of a research-driven implementation. Methods: Semi-structured interviews with 20 local recovery coordinators and 18 local IMR experts were conducted at 23 VA medical centers. Interviews examined perceived and experienced barriers and facilitators to IMR implementation. Data were analyzed via thematic inductive/deductive analysis in the form of crystallization/immersion. Results: Six factors differed between sites implementing IMR from those not providing IMR: awareness of IMR, importer-champions, autonomy-supporting leadership, veteran-centered care, presence of a sensitive period, and presence of a psychosocial rehabilitation and recovery center. Four factors were common in both groups: recovery orientation, evidence-based practices orientation, perceived IMR fit within program structure, and availability of staff time. Conclusions and Implications for Practice: IMR can be adopted in lieu of active implementation support; however, knowledge dissemination appears to be key. Future research should examine factors affecting the quality of implementation.

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