Guest Editors: PJ Naylor and Maureen C Ashe
There is a natural synergy between the emerging fields of implementation science and practice, and pilot and feasibility studies. The term implementation is commonly referred to as the “scientific study of methods to promote the systematic uptake of research findings and other evidence-based practices into routine practice, and, hence, to improve the quality and effectiveness of health services”. To support this process, recently developed methods and guidelines for conducting and reporting of pilot and/or feasibility studies can serve to strengthen methods for these study designs, and provide much needed contextual information for the larger study, or even practice. Thus, in this special topic, we are pleased to provide a venue to showcase these two integrated and emerging fields that together can strengthen public and clinical practice.
We have two main goals for this special topic:
- Define and explore scientific objectives and methods within pilot or feasibility studies that lead the way for future implementation research programs. It is hoped that these exemplary studies will also span the continuum of research from idea generation to implementation and scale up.; and
- To provide a discussion on the essential role that these early studies play in generating rigorous and relevant evidence.