Implementation of clinical guidelines for osteoarthritis together (IMPACT): protocol for a participatory health research approach to implementing high value care

BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2022 Jul 5;23(1):643. doi: 10.1186/s12891-022-05599-w.

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The evidence-based interventions of exercise and education have been strongly recommended as part of prominent clinical guidelines for hip and knee osteoarthritis (OA) for more than ten years. Despite the wealth of strong evidence that exists, implementation in practice is sub-optimal. This paper describes the key methodologies used in the co-design, tailoring, and evaluation of the IMPACT project implementation strategies, to confront this problem across multiple levels (micro, meso, macro) in public and private healthcare settings in Ireland.

METHODS: Using a type III hybrid implementation-effectiveness design, a participatory, dynamic and iterative process will be used to tailor and evaluate multi-level implementation strategies using the following stages: 1) Co-design the implementation strategies with key stakeholders using best evidence, a theory-driven implementation framework (Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research), local context and expert consensus; 2) Pilot and evaluate the implementation strategies by training physiotherapists to deliver the evidence-based Good Life with osteoArthritis Denmark (GLA:D®) education and exercise programme using the implementation strategies, and conduct a mixed-methods process evaluation; 3) Adapt the implementation strategies based on implementation process evaluation indicators from stage two. The adapted strategies will be used for scale-up and sustainability in subsequent GLA:D® Ireland training programmes that will be rolled out nationally. Evaluation of effectiveness on patient and cost outcomes will continue up to 12 months post-programme delivery, using an online patient registry and pre-post design.

DISCUSSION: This implementation science project aims to use participatory health research to address a gap in management of OA across public and private healthcare settings. This research has the potential to change practice and promote a policy of exercise and physical activity referral for chronic musculoskeletal disease that utilises community engagement effectively and enacts change ‘together’, with involvement of researchers, decision-makers, clinicians and patients.

PMID:35790924 | DOI:10.1186/s12891-022-05599-w

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