The Concerted Action (CA) will provide a framework for a coordinated programme of rigorous, new research. It will evaluate the impact of guideline implementation strategies in a variety of European primary care and hospital-based settings.
The main objective of the CA is to promote the transfer of research into clinical practice by learning how best to change professional practice through implementing well-grounded clinical guidelines. This objective breaks down into two subgoals: (i) integrated analyses of national implementation experiments to understand which implementation strategies are effective and why, and (ii) helping to establish a research basis for a quality culture in European health institutions by building a community of implementation scientists.
Partners in the CA will conduct a controlled intervention study to evaluate a promising strategy for implementing guidelines that address one or more major national health problems. The tasks of the CA are: (i) to develop a scientific framework for describing and analyzing the national studies. (ii) to construct common survey items to assess perceived barriers to and facilitators of implementation, (iii) to provide mutual support for conducting, analysing and reporting the national studies, (iv) to conduct a cross-study analysis of provider perception and behaviour change as a function of the type and context of implementation, (v) to synthesize the results in a model of implementation strategies, and finally (vi) to promote the dissemination of the findings of the CA to ensure maximum dividend from the concertation.The CA will be reinforced by (a) a network resource to manage the common data collection aspects and (b) a targeted training and mobility component to disseminate the theoretical and methodological knowledge and experience. In doing so the CA will develop an expert group of European researchers in this area. The CA will maximize the scientific quality of individual projects and give substantial community added value by clarifying the extent to which the results of such research can be generalized. The partnership comprises a blend of centres, some with a proven track record in this type of research and others relatively new to the field. It draws on a range of complementary disciplines, including clinical, behavioural and social sciences from across Europe.
Measures of scientific success: Peer-reviewed publications, which provide scientific endorsement of the research, are the primary criteria of scientific merit. We will attempt to bridge the gap between scientific recognition and practical results by producing teaching materials and seeking dissemination outlets that reach policymakers, funders of health care, as well as practicing health professionals.