Implementation science researchers have made great progress in understanding barriers to the delivery of evidence-based treatment and prevention programs and developing implementation strategies to improve program delivery. But the widespread use of these strategies has been limited, in part because costs of implementation are often not accounted for.
Dr. Andria Eisman, a research assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, recently explored how the economic evaluation of implementation strategies could ensure the successful delivery and long-term sustainability of evidence-based practices.
“Implementation science is about bridging the research-to-practice gap,” Dr. Eisman says. “We conduct research to better understand implementation of evidence-based programs in communities and using implementation interventions, referred to as implementation strategies, to help improve their delivery under real-world conditions.”
Cost of program implementation is often a barrier. Dr. Eisman argues that we need to advance the science so that when practitioners want to deliver an intervention in community settings, they understand the economic implications and what their return on investment will be.
“Assessing intervention implementation costs and the relative benefit of different approaches to delivering interventions is very important—especially when delivering treatment and prevention programs targeting marginalized and underserved populations,” she says. “Organizations implementing these programs are often under significant strain and must make decisions in the context of competing demands and scarce resources. We want to help organizations make informed decisions.”Friday Letter Submission, Publish on August 23