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This study will determine how EPIS has been applied and how widely the framework has been disseminated, adopted, and implemented in diverse health, allied health, and social care sectors, and further afield. 1, EPIS has key components that include four well-defined phases that describe the implementation process, identification of outer system and inner organizational contexts and their associated factors, innovation factors that relate to the characteristics of the innovation/EBP being implemented, and bridging factors, the dynamics, complexity, and interplay of the outer and inner contexts .The first key component of EPIS is the four phases of the implementation process, defined as Exploration, Preparation, Implementation, and Sustainment (EPIS).
While an increasing number of studies use implementation frameworks, the ways in which these frameworks are used or operationalized is not well described and their theoretical and practical utility are often left unexamined .
The present study is a systematic review of one highly cited and widely used implementation framework, the Exploration, Preparation, Implementation, Sustainment (EPIS) framework .
All included projects were conducted in public sector settings.
The majority of projects (73%) investigated the implementation of a specific EBP.
Until recently, this comprehensive framework has had limited prescriptive guidance for its use.
The EPIS framework was developed based on examination of the literature on implementation in public sector social and allied health service systems (e.g., mental health, substance use disorder treatment, social care, child welfare) in the USA, and has applicability in other countries and other settings.The majority of projects (90%) examined inner context factors, 57% examined outer context factors, 37% examined innovation factors, and 31% bridging factors (i.e., factors that cross or link the outer system and inner organizational context).On average, projects measured EPIS factors across two of the EPIS phases (M = 2.02), with the most frequent phase being Implementation (73%).Four papers applied SPI techniques or models to Web companies, and our results showed that none suggested any customized model or technique to measure the SPI of Web companies.The SLR also revealed the characteristics of some small and medium companies and suggested that they have tight budget constraints, tight deadlines and a short term strategy.Recommendations for future use include more precise operationalization of factors, increased depth and breadth of application, development of aligned measures, and broadening of user networks.Additional resources supporting the operationalization of EPIS are available.Data extraction included the objective, language, country, setting, sector, EBP, study design, methodology, level(s) of data collection, unit(s) of analysis, use of EPIS (i.e., purpose), implementation factors and processes, EPIS stages, implementation strategy, implementation outcomes, and overall depth of EPIS use (rated on a 1–5 scale).In total, 762 full-text articles were screened by four reviewers, resulting in inclusion of 67 articles, representing 49 unique research projects.A systematic literature review was performed to identify and evaluate the use of the EPIS framework in implementation efforts.Citation searches in Pub Med, Scopus, Psyc INFO, ERIC, Web of Science, Social Sciences Index, and Google Scholar databases were undertaken.