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HIFA2015, Global Health Trials' long term partner, are currently running an exciting feature on implementation research. Implementation research is important and relevant to everyont - you can get involved for free!
Why do we need implementation research?Millions of children and hundreds of thousands of women die every year from diseases that are preventable with basic, existing interventions such as oral reydration solution, WAter and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH), and antibiotics. Most of these deaths are occurring because of failure to deliver these interventions where and when they are needed. Similarly, millions of people with mental health problems, diabetes, hypertension, cancer fail to receive timely interventions to prevent and manage disease. Indeed, every area of health and disease is affected by implementation issues.
Implementation research aims to improve the way medical treatments and other health services are delivered in low- and middle-income countries. It can be described as a ‘systematic approach to understanding and addressing barriers to effective and quality implementation of health interventions, strategies and policies’ (TDR Toolkit). Implementation research addresses a wide range of questions, including (but by no means limited to) questions around how to improve the availability and use of health information (the central challenge of HIFA).
Objectives of the discussion
- To raise awareness and understanding of implementation research: what it is, why it’s important, how it is done.
- To learn from researchers and others who have been involved in implementation research.
- To learn from those who have used or applied the findings of implementation research (eg guideline developers, policymakers, health managers, frontline health workers…).
- To hear from those in the field – and especially frontline healthcare providers – about what *they* consider are the main challenges in improving access to all for medical treatments and other health services.
- To promote collaboration between researchers and healthcare providers.
Questions for discussion
- Have you ever heard of implementation research? What do you think of it?
- Have you been involved in any implementation research? Can you tell us about your experience? What was your group able to accomplish and how? What were the challenges?
- Have you used or applied the the results of implementation research? How? What were the benefits?What were the challenges?
- If you are a frontline healthcare provider, what are the key challenges in making medical treatments and other health services available to the population you serve? What needs to be done to better understand and address these challenges? Can you suggest implementation research questions that might be explored through implementation research.
- How does your community (local community, country, professional group) view health research? How could you get them involved?
- What is needed to strengthen national and international capacity to undertake and apply implementation research?
How will the discussion be taken forward?A summary of the discussion will be made available for all. It is hoped the discussion will help clarify understanding of implementation research among HIFA members and identify some priority implementation issues that need to be addressed. HIFA members may see opportunities for engagement in future implementation research. The discussion will also help inform future international conferences, including the Cochrane Colloquium (Seoul, South Korea, 23-27 October 2016) and the Global Symposium on Health Systems Research (Vancouver, 14-18 November 2016)
You can read more and get involved here: http://www.hifa2015.org/evidence-informed-policy-and-practice/implementation-research/