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The role of formative evaluation in implementation research and the QUERI experience

  • Cheryl B. Stetler
  • Marcia W. Legro
  • Carolyn M. Wallace
  • Candice Bowman
  • Marylou Guihan
  • Hildi Hagedorn
  • Barbara Kimmel
  • Nancy D. Sharp
  • Jeffrey L. Smith
Article

Abstract

This article describes the importance and role of 4 stages of formative evaluation in our growing understanding of how to implement research findings into practice in order to improve the quality of clinical care. It reviews limitations of traditional approaches to implementation research and presents a rationale for new thinking and use of new methods. Developmental, implementation-focused, progress-focused, and interpretive evaluations are then defined and illustrated with examples from Veterans Health Administration Quality Enhancement Research Initiative projects. This article also provides methodologic details and highlights challenges encountered in actualizing formative evaluation within implementation research.

Key words

process assessment (health care) evaluation methodology evaluation studies 

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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cheryl B. Stetler
    • 1
  • Marcia W. Legro
    • 2
    • 3
  • Carolyn M. Wallace
    • 2
  • Candice Bowman
    • 4
  • Marylou Guihan
    • 5
  • Hildi Hagedorn
    • 6
  • Barbara Kimmel
    • 7
    • 8
  • Nancy D. Sharp
    • 2
  • Jeffrey L. Smith
    • 9
  1. 1.Independent ConsultantAmherstUSA
  2. 2.VA Puget Sound Health Care SystemSeattleUSA
  3. 3.University of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  4. 4.VA San Diego Healthcare SystemSan DiegoUSA
  5. 5.Edward Hines, Jr. VA Healthcare SystemHinesUSA
  6. 6.Minneapolis VA Medical CenterMinneapolisUSA
  7. 7.Baylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  8. 8.Houston Veterans Affairs Medical CenterHoustanUSA
  9. 9.Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare SystemLittle RockUSA

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