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Methods to Improve the Selection and Tailoring of Implementation Strategies


Implementing behavioral health interventions is a complicated process. It has been suggested that implementation strategies should be selected and tailored to address the contextual needs of a given change effort; however, there is limited guidance as to how to do this. This article proposes four methods (concept mapping, group model building, conjoint analysis, and intervention mapping) that could be used to match implementation strategies to identified barriers and facilitators for a particular evidence-based practice or process change being implemented in a given setting. Each method is reviewed, examples of their use are provided, and their strengths and weaknesses are discussed. The discussion includes suggestions for future research pertaining to implementation strategies and highlights these methods’ relevance to behavioral health services and research.

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This work was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health (F31MH098478 to BJP; K23MH099179 to RSB; R01MH103310 and R01MH106510 to CCL; R01MH092950 and R01MH072961 to GAA; R25MH080916, P30DK092950, U54CA155496; UL1RR024992 to EKP; and R01MH106175 to DSM) and the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (through a Fellowship for the Advancement of Child Well-Being to BJP). Additionally, the preparation of this article was supported in part by the Implementation Research Institute (IRI; NIMH R25MH080916). Drs. Aarons & Proctor are IRI faculty; Dr. Beidas was an IRI fellow from 2012 to 2014.

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The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

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Correspondence to Byron J. Powell PhD.

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Powell, B.J., Beidas, R.S., Lewis, C.C. et al. Methods to Improve the Selection and Tailoring of Implementation Strategies. J Behav Health Serv Res 44, 177–194 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11414-015-9475-6

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  • Behavioral Health
  • Implementation Strategy
  • Concept Mapping
  • Discrete Strategy
  • Conjoint Analysis