BACKGROUND: The Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (PARIHS) framework was developed two decades ago and conceptualizes successful implementation (SI) as a function (f) of the evidence (E) nature and type, context (C) quality, and the facilitation (F), [SI = f (E,C,F)]. Despite a growing number of citations of theoretical frameworks including PARIHS, details of how theoretical frameworks are used remains largely unknown. This review aimed to enhance the understanding of the breadth and depth of the use of the PARIHS framework. METHODS: This citation analysis commenced from four core articles representing the key stages of the framework's development. The citation search was performed in Web of Science and Scopus. After exclusion, we undertook an initial assessment aimed to identify articles using PARIHS and not only referencing any of the core articles. To assess this, all articles were read in full. Further data extraction included capturing information about where (country/countries and setting/s) PARIHS had been used, as well as categorizing how the framework was applied. Also, strengths and weaknesses, as well as efforts to validate the framework, were explored in detail. RESULTS: The citation search yielded 1613 articles. After applying exclusion criteria, 1475 articles were read in full, and the initial assessment yielded a total of 367 articles reported to have used the PARIHS framework. These articles were included for data extraction. The framework had been used in a variety of settings and in both high-, middle-, and low-income countries. With regard to types of use, 32% used PARIHS in planning and delivering an intervention, 50% in data analysis, 55% in the evaluation of study findings, and/or 37% in any other way. Further analysis showed that its actual application was frequently partial and generally not well elaborated. CONCLUSIONS: In line with previous citation analysis of the use of theoretical frameworks in implementation science, we also found a rather superficial description of the use of PARIHS. Thus, we propose the development and adoption of reporting guidelines on how framework(s) are used in implementation studies, with the expectation that this will enhance the maturity of implementation science.
Bibliographical noteThis 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.
- Citation analysis
- Implementation science
- Knowledge translation
- PARIHS framework