Erika L. Crable; Dea Biancarelli; Allan J. Walkey; Caitlin G. Allen; Enola K. Proctor; Mari-Lynn Drainoni.
Standardizing an approach to the evaluation of implementation science proposals
Background: The fields of implementation and improvement sciences have experienced rapid growth in recent years. However, research that seeks to inform health care change may have difficulty translating core components of implementation and improvement sciences within the traditional paradigms used to evaluate efficacy and effectiveness research. A review of implementation and improvement sciences grant proposals within an academic medical center using a traditional National Institutes of Health framework highlighted the need for tools that could assist investigators and reviewers in describing and evaluating proposed implementation and improvement sciences research.
Methods: We operationalized existing recommendations for writing implementation science proposals as the ImplemeNtation and Improvement Science Proposals Evaluation CriTeria (INSPECT) scoring system. The resulting system was applied to pilot grants submitted to a call for implementation and improvement science proposals at an academic medical center. We evaluated the reliability of the INSPECT system using Krippendorff’s alpha coefficients and explored the utility of the INSPECT system to characterize common deficiencies in implementation research proposals.
Results: We scored 30 research proposals using the INSPECT system. Proposals received a median cumulative score of 7 out of a possible score of 30. Across individual elements of INSPECT, proposals scored highest for criteria rating evidence of a care or quality gap. Proposals generally performed poorly on all other criteria. Most proposals received scores of 0 for criteria identifying an evidence-based practice or treatment (50%), conceptual model and theoretical justification (70%), setting’s readiness to adopt new services/treatment/programs (54%), implementation strategy/process (67%), and measurement and analysis (70%). Inter-coder reliability testing showed excellent reliability (Krippendorff’s alpha coefficient 0.88) for the application of the scoring system overall and demonstrated reliability scores ranging from 0.77 to 0.99 for individual elements.
Conclusions: The INSPECT scoring system presents a new scoring criteria with a high degree of inter-rater reliability and utility for evaluating the quality of implementation and improvement sciences grant proposals.
Authors: Erika L. Crable; Dea Biancarelli; Allan J. Walkey; Caitlin G. Allen; Enola K. Proctor; Mari-Lynn Drainoni.