The Quality Implementation Framework: Round Two

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Nearly ten years ago, I was part of a paper that attempted to distill syntheses of implementation frameworks down into a usable tool. And that tool was pretty good!

You can still find it here, but you’ll have to do some of the paywall shenanigans to get at it.

The syntheses paper itself is super well known (924 citations as of this writing). So, as I was trolling around Twitter today, I couldn’t help but wonder what the state of the implementation framework literature was.

Because let’s be frank, implementation scientists LOOOOOVEEE their frameworks. I searched for implementation science AND framework, and found that the literature is growing substantially over the last three-ish years.

Examining Word Counts

The stuff in this word cloud should come as no surprise…..or does it? We see the normal stuff around interventions. And health. And programs. And evaluation. And community, And cancer (shout out to NCI for funding a huge amount of this research.)

But I don’t see anything about other fields.

Nothing from education. Maybe something from the business literature?

It’s pretty clear that the implementation literature (at least what’s been indexed by PubMed) has a hyper-medical focus.

Is that to be expected? There are certainly other types of journals indexed in PubMed, but it’s pretty clear that implementation science is primarily a health-driven field right now.


The network plot also showed some expected trends. You’ll always find CFIR in there. Though I did laugh out loud when I saw the cluster at the top of this network plot: “real world.” Keep on trying, folks!

Here are the top publishers of implementation science and framework, and yeah, it confirms the usual suspect, but I was super surprised to see Bioinformatics up there, especially since nothing in the bag-of-words approaches appeared to indicate articles that would be within their focus.

Just a couple of topics

Rather than do a full deconstruction of how these topics cluster, I only picked the top ten-ish. The top groupings seem to be about process, which would make sense in a review of implementation frameworks. We can also cancer-related items jumping out about halfway down.

What to do with this information?

Well, if you signed up for PubTrawlr’s premium level, you’d be getting topic summaries and recommended articles. And you’ve been able to get recommendations about how to turn your results into actions.

Can you imagine…..

instead of spreading 20+ hours of screening through nearly 4000 titles, you’d have an empirically derived list of the 25 articles to focus on…..

What would you do with the extra time?

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