Experiences of using the i-PARIHS framework: a co-designed case study of four multi-site implementation projects

S. C. Hunter, B. Kim, A. Mudge, L. Hall, A. Young, P. McRae, A. L. Kitson

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BACKGROUND: The integrated-Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (i-PARIHS) framework is an implementation framework that has been developed and refined over the last 20 years. Its underlying philosophy is that implementing research into healthcare practice is complex, unpredictable and non-linear which therefore requires a flexible and responsive approach to implementation. Facilitation is recognized as the central ingredient of this approach, and i-PARIHS now provides a Facilitation Guide with associated tools. This multiple case study of four implementation projects explored how the i-PARIHS framework has been practically operationalized by diverse implementation project teams. METHODS: A co-design approach was used to elicit the experiences of four implementation project teams who used the i-PARIHS framework to guide their implementation approach. We conducted the established co-design steps of (i) setting up for success, (ii) gathering the experience, and (iii) understanding the experience. In particular we explored teams' approaches to setting up their projects; why and how they used the i-PARIHS framework and what they learnt from the experience. RESULTS: We found both commonalities and differences in the use of i-PARIHS across the four implementation projects: (i) all the projects used the Facilitation Checklist that accompanies i-PARIHS as a starting point, (ii) the projects differed in how facilitation was carried out, (iii) existing tools were adapted for distinct phases: pre-implementation, during implementation, and post-implementation stages; and (iv) project-specific tools were often developed for monitoring implementation activities and fidelity. CONCLUSIONS: We have provided a detailed overview of how current users of i-PARIHS are operationalising the framework, which existing tools they are using or adapting to use, and where they have needed to develop new tools to best utilise the framework. Importantly, this study highlights the value of existing tools from the published i-PARIHS Facilitation Guide and provides a starting point to further refine and add to these tools within a future Mobilising Implementation of i-PARIHS (or "Mi-PARIHS") suite of resources. Specifically, Mi-PARIHS might include more explicit guidance and/or tools for developing a structured implementation plan and monitoring fidelity to the implementation plan, including recording how strategies are tailored to an evolving context.

Original languageEnglish
Article number573
Number of pages14
JournalBMC Health Services Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jun 2020

Bibliographical note

Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.


  • Co-design
  • Implementation frameworks
  • Implementation science
  • Knowledge translation


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