We recently published an article that identifies factors that could potentially impact the implementation of complex health and behavioral health interventions like the Housing First model. This study was rooted in our work with Housing First, and it might be of interest to Housing First programs seeking to overcome potential implementation or sustainability challenges. The abstract below describes the article, and the figure outlines the factors we identified that can (positively or negatively) impact program implementation. The full article can be found at this by clicking on the article's title below.
Defining the external implementation context: an integrative systematic literature review
Background: Proper implementation of evidence-based interventions is necessary for their full impact to be realized. However, the majority of research to date has overlooked facilitators and barriers existing outside the boundaries of the implementing organization(s). Better understanding and measurement of the external implementation context would be particularly beneficial in light of complex health interventions that extend into and interact with the larger environment they are embedded within. We conducted a integrative systematic literature review to identify external context constructs likely to impact implementation of complex evidence-based interventions. Methods:The review process was iterative due to our goal to inductively develop the identified constructs. Data collection occurred in four primary stages: (1) an initial set of key literature across disciplines was identified and used to inform (2) journal and (3) author searches that, in turn, informed the design of the final (4) database search. Additionally, (5) we conducted citation searches of relevant literature reviews identified in each stage. We carried out an inductive thematic content analysis with the goal of developing homogenous, well-defined, and mutually exclusive categories. Results: We identified eight external context constructs: (1) professional influences, (2) political support, (3) social climate, (4) local infrastructure, (5) policy and legal climate, (6) relational climate, (7) target population, and (8) funding and economic climate. Conclusions: This is the first study to our knowledge to use a systematic review process to identify empirically observed external context factors documented to impact implementation. Comparison with four widely-utilized implementation frameworks supports the exhaustiveness of our review process. Future work should focus on the development of more stringent operationalization and measurement of these external constructs.