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Implementation science and practice: pilot and feasibility studies from the field

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:

  1. 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
  2. To provide a discussion on the essential role that these early studies play in generating rigorous and relevant evidence.
  1. Implementation trials aim to test the effects of implementation strategies on the adoption, integration or uptake of an evidence-based intervention within organisations or settings. Feasibility and pilot studi...

    Authors: Nicole Pearson, Patti-Jean Naylor, Maureen C. Ashe, Maria Fernandez, Sze Lin Yoong and Luke Wolfenden
    Citation: Pilot and Feasibility Studies 2020 6:167
  2. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) benefit when their caregivers can effectively advocate for appropriate services. Barriers to caregiver engagement such as provider mistrust, cultural differences, s...

    Authors: Suzannah Iadarola, Melanie Pellecchia, Aubyn Stahmer, Hyon Soo Lee, Lindsay Hauptman, Elizabeth McGhee Hassrick, Samantha Crabbe, Sarah Vejnoska, Elizabeth Morgan, Heather Nuske, Paul Luelmo, Chris Friedman, Connie Kasari, Amanda Gulsrud, David Mandell and Tristram Smith
    Citation: Pilot and Feasibility Studies 2020 6:124
  3. Effective translation of evidence-based research into clinical practice requires assessment of the many factors that can impact implementation success. Research methods that draw on recognised implementation f...

    Authors: Liesbeth Geerligs, Heather L. Shepherd, Nicole M. Rankin, Lindy Masya, Joanne M. Shaw, Melanie A. Price, Haryana Dhillon, Colette Dolan, Gabrielle Prest and Phyllis Butow
    Citation: Pilot and Feasibility Studies 2020 6:109
  4. Low levels of physical activity and high levels of sedentary behaviour are pervasive, especially in schools. Pre-service teacher education is pivotal to school and educational reform but is an under-studied se...

    Authors: Natalie Lander, Harriet Koorts, Emiliano Mazzoli, Kate Moncrieff and Jo Salmon
    Citation: Pilot and Feasibility Studies 2019 5:125
  5. Many interventions designed to meet physical activity guideline recommendations focus on a single component (e.g., walking), to the detriment of other elements of a healthy lifestyle, such as reducing prolonge...

    Authors: Maureen C. Ashe, Nicola Y. Edwards, Amanda Taylor, Laura Burnett, Lora Giangregorio, Kate Milne, Lindy Clemson and Lena Fleig
    Citation: Pilot and Feasibility Studies 2019 5:84
  6. Clinical guidelines for management of low back pain (LBP) are not routinely implemented in practice, and guidelines rarely offer tools for implementation. Therefore, we developed GLA:D® Back, a standardised in...

    Authors: Alice Kongsted, Jan Hartvigsen, Eleanor Boyle, Inge Ris, Per Kjaer, Line Thomassen and Werner Vach
    Citation: Pilot and Feasibility Studies 2019 5:65
  7. Children admitted to nutritional rehabilitation units (NRUs) for inpatient treatment of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) are at high risk of poor developmental and nutritional outcomes. The Kusamala Program is ...

    Authors: Allison I Daniel, Meta van den Heuvel, Melissa Gladstone, Mike Bwanali, Wieger Voskuijl, Celine Bourdon, Isabel Potani, Sara Fernandes, Jenala Njirammadzi and Robert H J Bandsma
    Citation: Pilot and Feasibility Studies 2018 4:151