Theories, models and frameworks
Many implementation theories, models and frameworks exist. They can help guide the process of translating knowledge into practice, understand or explain what influences implementation outcomes and support evaluation efforts. The resources and journal articles below introduce some of the commonly used theories, models and frameworks (TMFs) in implementation research and practice.
[Beginner] [Guide] [Video Available] [Academic Papers Available]
National Implementation Research Network
A searchable resource library on active implementation. Includes handouts, templates and learning modules on topics such as Plan Do Study Act (PDSA) cycles. Also provides online self-paced training modules.
A Guide to Designing Interventions
The Behaviour Change Wheel
This page is dedicated to a book and eBook written by Susan Michie, Lou Atkins and Robert West. The book provides a practical guide on designing and evaluating behaviour change interventions and policies based on the Behaviour Change Wheel.
The website also includes an interactive graphic describing each aspect of the behaviour change wheel.
Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research
Centre for Clinical Management Research
An overview of CFIR and related evidence. Best suited for individuals aiming to evaluate or design an implementation study. Also includes the CFIR-ERIC implementation strategy matching tool.
Handbook on Implementation Science
In Chapter 5 of the Handbook, Gillian Harvey and Alison Kitson explore the Integrated Promoting Action on Research Implementation in Health Services (i-PARIHS) framework, and provide examples of how the framework has been applied.
Centre for Effective Services
An overview of seven leading frameworks, examples of where they have been used and links to further reading.
Frameworks include: The Quality Implementation Framework, Promoting Action on Implementation Research in Health Series (PARIHS), COM-B/Behaviour Change Wheel, RE-AIM, Normalisation Process Theory (NPT), Active Implementation Framework (AIF), and the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR).
Knowledge to Action (KTA) Cycle
A YouTube video of Dr. Ian Graham from the University of Ottawa describing the Knowledge to Action (KTA) cycle and how it was developed.
Pick a theory, model or framework
University of Washington
This section of the W Implementation Science Resource Hub outlines schemas to help you orient implementation theories and frameworks, and three questions to help you choose the best TMF for your project or needs.
Normalisation Process Theory (NPT) Toolkit
A conceptual framework for understanding and evaluating the implementation of complex interventions in everyday work.
The EPIS Implementation Framework
An overview of the Exploration, Preparation, Implementation, Sustainment (EPIS) Framework. Includes webinars and examples of EPIS in action.
A framework to help determine implementation science success. Includes: RE-AIM training modules, RE-AIM planning tool, dissemination planning tool, measures and checklists.
- Atkins, L., Francis, J., Islam, R., O’Connor, D., Patey, A., Ivers, N., Foy, R., Duncan, E. M., Colquhoun, H., Grimshaw, J. M., Lawton, R., & Michie, S. (2017). A guide to using the Theoretical Domains Framework of behaviour change to investigate implementation problems. Implementation science : IS, 12(1), 77. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13012-017-0605-9
- French, S. D., Green, S. E., O’Connor, D. A., McKenzie, J. E., Francis, J. J., Michie, S., Buchbinder, R., Schattner, P., Spike, N., & Grimshaw, J. M. (2012). Developing theory-informed behaviour change interventions to implement evidence into practice: a systematic approach using the Theoretical Domains Framework. Implementation science : IS, 7, 38. https://doi.org/10.1186/1748-5908-7-38
- Graham, I. D., Logan, J., Harrison, M. B., Straus, S. E., Tetroe, J., Caswell, W., & Robinson, N. (2006). Lost in knowledge translation: time for a map?. The Journal of continuing education in the health professions, 26(1), 13–24. https://doi.org/10.1002/chp.47
- Harvey, G., & Kitson, A. (2016). PARIHS revisited: from heuristic to integrated framework for the successful implementation of knowledge into practice. Implementation science : IS, 11, 33. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13012-016-0398-2
- Lynch, E. A., Mudge, A., Knowles, S., Kitson, A. L., Hunter, S. C., & Harvey, G. (2018). “There is nothing so practical as a good theory”: a pragmatic guide for selecting theoretical approaches for implementation projects. BMC health services research, 18(1), 857. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-018-3671-z
- Michie, S., van Stralen, M. M., & West, R. (2011). The behaviour change wheel: a new method for characterising and designing behaviour change interventions. Implementation science : IS, 6, 42. https://doi.org/10.1186/1748-5908-6-42
- Michie, S., Richardson, M., Johnston, M., Abraham, C., Francis, J., Hardeman, W., Eccles, M. P., Cane, J., & Wood, C. E. (2013). The behavior change technique taxonomy (v1) of 93 hierarchically clustered techniques: building an international consensus for the reporting of behavior change interventions. Annals of behavioral medicine : a publication of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, 46(1), 81–95. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12160-013-9486-6
- Moullin, J. C., Dickson, K. S., Stadnick, N. A., Albers, B., Nilsen, P., Broder-Fingert, S., Mukasa, B., & Aarons, G. A. (2020). Ten recommendations for using implementation frameworks in research and practice. Implementation science communications, 1, 42. https://doi.org/10.1186/s43058-020-00023-7
- Meyers, D. C., Durlak, J. A., & Wandersman, A. (2012). The quality implementation framework: a synthesis of critical steps in the implementation process. American journal of community psychology, 50(3-4), 462–480. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10464-012-9522-x
- Nilsen P. (2015). Making sense of implementation theories, models and frameworks. Implementation science : IS, 10, 53. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13012-015-0242-0
- Proctor, E. K., Powell, B. J., & McMillen, J. C. (2013). Implementation strategies: recommendations for specifying and reporting. Implementation science : IS, 8, 139. https://doi.org/10.1186/1748-5908-8-139