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Knapp AA, Carroll AJ, Mohanty N, Fu E, Powell BJ, Hamilton A, Burton ND, Coldren E, Hossain T, Limaye DP, Mendoza D, Sethi M, Padilla R, Price HE, Villamar JA, Jordan N, Langman CB, Smith JD. A stakeholder-driven method for selecting implementation strategies: a case example of pediatric hypertension clinical practice guideline implementation. Implementation science communications. 2022 Mar 7; 3(1):25.
BACKGROUND: This article provides a generalizable method, rooted in co-design and stakeholder engagement, to identify, specify, and prioritize implementation strategies. To illustrate this method, we present a case example focused on identifying strategies to promote pediatric hypertension (pHTN) Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) implementation in community health center-based primary care practices that involved meaningful engagement of pediatric clinicians, clinic staff, and patients/caregivers. This example was chosen based on the difficulty clinicians and organizations experience in implementing the pHTN CPG, as evidenced by low rates of guideline-adherent pHTN diagnosis and treatment. METHODS: We convened a Stakeholder Advisory Panel (SAP), comprising 6 pediatricians and 5 academic partners, for 8 meetings (~12 h total) to rigorously identify determinants of pHTN CPG adherence and to ultimately develop a testable multilevel, multicomponent implementation strategy. Our approach expanded upon the Expert Recommendations for Implementation Change (ERIC) protocol by incorporating a modified Delphi approach, user-centered design methods, and the Implementation Research Logic Model (IRLM). At the recommendation of our SAP, we gathered further input from youth with or at-risk for pHTN and their caregivers, as well as clinic staff who would be responsible for carrying out facets of the implementation strategy. RESULTS: First, the SAP identified 17 determinants, and 18 discrete strategies were prioritized for inclusion. The strategies primarily targeted determinants in the domains of intervention characteristics, inner setting, and characteristics of the implementers. Based on SAP ratings of strategy effectiveness, feasibility, and priority, three tiers of strategies emerged, with 7 strategies comprising the top tier implementation strategy package. Next, input from caregivers and clinic staff confirmed the feasibility and acceptability of the implementation strategies and provided further detail in the definition and specification of those strategies. CONCLUSIONS: This method-an adaptation of the ERIC protocol-provided a pragmatic structure to work with stakeholders to efficiently identify implementation strategies, particularly when supplemented with user-centered design activities and the intuitive organizing framework of the IRLM. This generalizable method can help researchers identify and prioritize strategies that align with the implementation context with an increased likelihood of adoption and sustained use.