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Arney J, Thurman K, Jones L, Kiefer L, Hundt NE, Naik AD, Woodard LD. Qualitative findings on building a partnered approach to implementation of a group-based diabetes intervention in VA primary care. BMJ open. 2018 Jan 21; 8(1):e018093.
OBJECTIVE: Conduct a formative evaluation to inform the implementation of ''Empowering Patients in Chronic Care'' (EPIC), an evidence-based interdisciplinary group medical appointment intervention to improve collaborative goal-setting in patients with treated but uncontrolled diabetes. DESIGN: The formative evaluation involved qualitative, in-depth interviews with clinicians, structured according to the Promoting Action on Research in Health Services framework. Interviews elicited (1) participants'' knowledge regarding interdisciplinary group self-management and goal-setting programmes and how well clinicians embrace these interventions (evidence), (2) physical and social climate at each target facility and how the intervention can best be embedded into routine primary care (context) and (3) site-specific needs to be addressed by our implementation team and clinicians'' preparedness and intentions to participate in the intervention (facilitation). SETTING: Clinicians were part of a primary care setting at one of five participating medical facilities within one Veterans Health Administration Veterans Affairs regional network. PARTICIPANTS: We interviewed a snowball sample of 35 interdisciplinary clinicians engaged in diabetes management, practising leadership and administrators at target sites. RESULTS: Most participants had previous experience with diabetes group self-management programmes and viewed group appointments as an effective approach to enhancing care. Discussions about existing group appointments provided a context for evaluating potential barriers and facilitators to implementing EPIC into target sites. Interviews revealed clinicians'' expectations about the roles they would play in the intervention, their assessments of the roles and strategies to facilitate their performance in those roles. CONCLUSIONS: Successful implementation of evidence-based practices into routine care requires a partnered approach with engaged local staff. The intervention should address local goals and research objectives to encourage bidirectional engagement. Robust partnerships are nurtured further by sustained, open communication and must consider the context, target population and local experience to address barriers and facilitators to implementation.