This accessible textbook introduces a wide spectrum of ideas, approaches and examples that make up the emerging field of implementation science, including implementation theory, processes and methods, data collection and analysis, brokering interest on the ground, and sustainable implementation.

Containing over sixty concise essays, each addressing the thorny problem of how we can make care more evidence-informed, this book looks at how implementation science should be defined, how it can be conducted and how it is assessed. It offers vital insight into how research findings are derived from healthcare contexts can help make sense of service delivery and patient encounters. Each entry concentrates on an important concept and examine: the idea’s evidence base; root causes and effects; ideas and applications; and methodologies and methods. Revealing a very human side to caregiving, but also tackling its more complex and technological aspects, the contributors draw on real-life healthcare examples to look both at why things go right in introducing a new intervention and what can go wrong. Key Concepts in Implementation Science provides a toolbox of rich, contemporary thought from leading international thinkers, clearly and succinctly delivered.

This comprehensive and enlightening range of ideas and examples brought together in one place is essential reading for all students, researchers and practitioners with an interest in translating knowledge into practice in healthcare.

part I|75 pages

Principles and concepts of implementation science

chapter |4 pages

Setting the scene

Principles and concepts of implementation science

chapter 1|6 pages

Complexity science

chapter 6|2 pages

Medical humanism

The role of character in implementation science

chapter 7|4 pages


chapter 13|3 pages

Implementation science as process ecology

Normalization Process Theory

chapter 14|3 pages

Diffusion of Innovation theory

chapter 16|3 pages

Shared decision-making

Consider context

chapter 18|5 pages

Pipeline and cyclical models of evidence building

The roles of implementation research

part II|74 pages

Methodology and methods of implementation science

chapter 19|4 pages


chapter 20|2 pages

Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA)

chapter 23|3 pages

Core and variation components

chapter 24|3 pages


Appreciating patterns and coherence in complexity

chapter 26|3 pages

Applying the Theoretical Domains Framework

Its uses and limitations

chapter 27|2 pages


chapter 28|2 pages

Walking methods

chapter 29|3 pages

Modelling complex socio-technical systems

The Functional Resonance Analysis Method (FRAM)

chapter 30|3 pages

Getting a handle on the social processes of implementation

Social network research

chapter 31|2 pages

Sentiment analysis for use within rapid implementation research

How far and fast can we go?

chapter 32|5 pages

Mixed method designs

chapter 34|2 pages

In situ simulation

chapter 35|3 pages

Emergency Implementation Science

chapter 36|6 pages

Planning for implementation

Why, who, and how

chapter 37|3 pages

Consensus building

A key concept in implementation science

chapter 38|3 pages


Finding clues and using cues to shift clinician behaviour

chapter 40|2 pages


Paying attention to the stories we tell to improve our ability to act

part III|75 pages

Challenges with evidence into practice

chapter 42|4 pages

Evidence synthesis

Maximizing the potential

chapter 43|5 pages

Theory-driven evaluation

chapter 45|2 pages


chapter 47|4 pages


Impact on implementation processes and outcomes

chapter 50|2 pages

Agents of change

The example of an allied health professional

chapter 51|2 pages

Clinical decision support

chapter 52|3 pages

Interprofessional team working

The case of care pathways

chapter 53|2 pages

Older people's care

chapter 57|2 pages

Diagnosis errors

chapter 59|4 pages

Implementation sustainability

chapter 60|4 pages


chapter |15 pages

The long and winding road

Navigating the field of implementation science