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Tackling Societal Challenges

Thu. 06. Sep 2018 13:12

One of the great aims of the Horizon 2020 programme and any project funded by it, is to tackle the current challenges faced by society. We wouldn’t have started ImpleMentAll if we didn’t believe in our own contribution to this mission. This means that the project was born out of challenges in the healthcare sector that need solving in order to better the treatment of (mental) health issues, especially internet-based and innovative treatments.

One of the primary challenges in eMental health treatment is that while recent research has shown the effectiveness of iCBT for treatment of depression, the implementation of these services is lagging greatly because of inefficient and costly implementation efforts. There also seems to be a lack of problem analysis and awareness of barriers and facilitators for successful implementation in addition to the uptake of well-researched and proven interventions addressing current challenges still being slow. In IMA, we believe that this is at least partly due to implementation sites lacking a tailored strategy for the implementation of the iCBT services.

Our consortium counts some of the leading experts from both the scientific and practical sides of eHealth and eMental health implementation - and based on their combined experiences, we know that there is a need for effective implementation strategies and especially tailored implementation strategies fitting the local clinical context and service implemented.

ImpleMentAll will be one of the first large-scale attempts to address implementation barriers through tailoring evidence-informed strategies. Tailoring is a systematic process that includes identifying the “determinants of practice” (factors hindering or facilitating implementation), designing implementation interventions appropriate to those determinants, and the actual application and evaluation of those implementation interventions.

Despite our good intensions, extensive experience, and innovative thinking, tackling this societal challenge is not an easy task. Christiaan Vis, our Scientific Coordinator, explains: “Developing effective and efficient treatments is a major challenge. And when effective treatments are found, embedding them in routine practice to have real impact in patients is another challenge. Applying and embedding new treatments in existing care practices is difficult and takes place in complex care settings in which many people with different expertise, roles, and responsibilities in varying organisational structures are working together to achieve the common goal of improving a person’s health. These processes of normalisation do not occur overnight, but can be assessed, modelled, and, as we aim for, improved.

Thereby, we in ImpleMentAll are facing some tremendous challenges in our work to improve implementation of clinical innovations across the globe, but even though we have our work cut out for us, we rise to the challenge and firmly believe that what we plan to do will help us reach our goal.

If you have any questions for our consortium about tailored implementation or how to tackle the challenge of poor implementation in general, please comment below!

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 733025.
This content reflects only the author's view and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
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