New resource for research teams to improve the reporting of implementation studies13/07/2023
In this blog post, Dr Louise Hull, an implementation research lead, discusses the development of a new resource to help improve the reporting of implementation studies.
Arguably the most well-known reporting guideline for implementation studies is the Standards for Reporting Implementation Studies (StaRi) statement, published in 2017. However, several additional reporting guidelines have been developed that are relevant to implementation studies. Using more than one reporting guideline may not only be desirable but also necessary to ensure the quality and transparent reporting of implementation studies.
Until now, a single resource containing all reporting guidelines relevant to implementation studies did not exist. This meant implementation research teams needed to identify relevant guidelines among the hundreds of reporting guidelines listed on the EQUATOR network, and elsewhere, to improve the reporting of implementation research – a daunting and time-consuming task.
We developed the new Reporting guidelines relevant to implementation studies resource (PDF) to help implementation research teams to quickly and easily identify relevant reporting guidelines and, in turn, improve the quality and transparency of implementation study reporting.
The resource is aimed at researchers and practitioners from a range of disciplines studying or evaluating the implementation of evidence-based interventions, particularly in health and social care.
We developed the new resource by screening more than 570 reporting guidelines listed on the EQUATOR Network Database of Reporting Guidelines. Using this approach, we identified 28 guidelines relevant to the reporting of implementation studies. In addition, we included two further resources containing recommendations relating to the reporting of specific elements of implementation studies. So, in total, the resource contains 30 relevant reporting guidelines.
The resource includes reporting guidelines relevant to specific elements of implementation research including implementation strategies and implementation outcomes, and the reporting of a wide range of interventions (including behaviour change interventions, digital health interventions, and social and environmental policy interventions) as well as guidelines for reporting adaptations and modifications to evidence-based interventions.
I encourage implementation research teams to use the Reporting guidelines relevant to implementation studies resource (PDF) to identify appropriate reporting guidelines relevant to their study. I hope it makes your lives easier and helps to improve the quality of implementation study reporting. If you have any suggestions for the resource, feedback or questions, do get in touch.
Dr Louise Hull is the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Applied Research Collaboration South London’s implementation research lead, Deputy Director of the Centre for Implementation Science at King’s College London, and Senior Researcher at King’s Improvement Science.