11 Jan 2023

Within this relatively new field, implementation research stakeholders have highlighted a need for criteria that can be used to objectively assess the quality of implementation research.

Researchers within the Centre for Implementation Science at King’s College London are leading a project to develop and evaluate a new tool designed to do just that: the Implementation Science Research Project Appraisal Criteria (ImpResPAC) tool.

The ImpResPAC quantitative tool is designed to evaluate the conceptual and methodological quality of implementation research, and is primarily intended to be used by grant reviewers and  educators. The new tool is based on the structure and content of the Implementation Science Research development (ImpRes) tool and supplementary guide, which advises implementation research teams and practitioners working in healthcare on how to design high-quality implementation science research and projects.

Project aim

Dr Louise Hull, who is supervising the research project, describes its aims. “We want ImpResPAC to provide implementation research stakeholders, particularly grant reviewers and educators, with a comprehensive, transparent and fair appraisal of the conceptual and methodological quality of implementation research."

We hope the tool will increase the likelihood of funding high-quality implementation research that will generate knowledge and contribute to the advancement of the field and ultimately improve health outcomes and services

Dr Louise Hull, Deputy director of the Centre for Implementation Science, King’s College London

How the study will be conducted

The researchers will carry out the project in three stages: 

  • Stage 1: the researchers will map core elements of the ImpRes tool, guidance and recommendations contained in the supplementary guide and wider research literature, to ImpResPAC
  • Stage 2: an international multidisciplinary group of experts will help to refine ImpResPAC, including the content, scoring system and user instructions
  • Stage 3: the researchers will carry out an extensive psychometric evaluation of ImpResPAC

The research team will test the effectiveness of the ImpResPAC tool by applying it to 50 research protocols published in the journal Implementation Science.

This research project is being led by Chloe Sweetnam, a postgraduate researcher at The Kinetix Group. The team is made up of researchers at King's Improvement Science and the Centre for Implementation Science, King’s College London.