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Unraveling implementation context: the Basel Approach for coNtextual ANAlysis (BANANA) in implementation science and its application in the SMILe project.

Mielke J, Leppla L, Valenta S, Zullig LL, Zúñiga F, Staudacher S, Teynor A, De Geest S. Unraveling implementation context: the Basel Approach for coNtextual ANAlysis (BANANA) in implementation science and its application in the SMILe project. Implementation science communications. 2022 Oct 1; 3(1):102.

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BACKGROUND: Designing intervention and implementation strategies with careful consideration of context is essential for successful implementation science projects. Although the importance of context has been emphasized and methodology for its analysis is emerging, researchers have little guidance on how to plan, perform, and report contextual analysis. Therefore, our aim was to describe the Basel Approach for coNtextual ANAlysis (BANANA) and to demonstrate its application on an ongoing multi-site, multiphase implementation science project to develop/adapt, implement, and evaluate an integrated care model in allogeneic SteM cell transplantatIon facILitated by eHealth (the SMILe project). METHODS: BANANA builds on guidance for assessing context by Stange and Glasgow (Contextual factors: the importance of considering and reporting on context in research on the patient-centered medical home, 2013). Based on a literature review, BANANA was developed in ten discussion sessions with implementation science experts and a medical anthropologist to guide the SMILe project's contextual analysis. BANANA's theoretical basis is the Context and Implementation of Complex Interventions (CICI) framework. Working from an ecological perspective, CICI acknowledges contextual dynamics and distinguishes between context and setting (the implementation's physical location). RESULTS: BANANA entails six components: (1) choose a theory, model, or framework (TMF) to guide the contextual analysis; (2) use empirical evidence derived from primary and/or secondary data to identify relevant contextual factors; (3) involve stakeholders throughout contextual analysis; (4) choose a study design to assess context; (5) determine contextual factors' relevance to implementation strategies/outcomes and intervention co-design; and (6) report findings of contextual analysis following appropriate reporting guidelines. Partly run simultaneously, the first three components form a basis both for the identification of relevant contextual factors and for the next components of the BANANA approach. DISCUSSION: Understanding of context is indispensable for a successful implementation science project. BANANA provides much-needed methodological guidance for contextual analysis. In subsequent phases, it helps researchers apply the results to intervention development/adaption and choices of contextually tailored implementation strategies. For future implementation science projects, BANANA's principles will guide researchers first to gather relevant information on their target context, then to inform all subsequent phases of their implementation science project to strengthen every part of their work and fulfill their implementation goals.

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