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Development and evaluation of a methodological stepwise approach to stakeholder engagement for implementation science studies - SMILe Belgium as example

In addressing the pressing challenges of translating research into real-world practice, the rise of Implementation Science has marked a paradigm shift in research methodology. Implementation science focuses on the systematic application and evaluation of strategies to successfully integrate evidence-based practices into real-world settings to improve patient safety, quality of care and sustainability of innovations. There are several phases to an implementation science project. It depends on the formation of transdisciplinary research teams and emphasises stakeholder involvement  as essential to enrich all the phases of the implementation science process. Stakeholder involvement ensures that intervention implementation meets the contextual conditions, that stakeholders have the necessary resources, and that they can sustain the intervention.

SI is increasingly becoming a standard element in funding proposals and also implementation scientists are giving more visibility to SE in their projects. However, while providing valuable direction, different theories and general principles for stakeholder involvement are challenging to operationalise as they lack specific, practical steps for preparing,initiating and assessing involvement efforts. Consequently, the benefits of SI are not fully realised, potentially limiting the impact and generalizability of research findings.

This PhD project proposes to address this methodological gap and test a methodological approach in an ongoing Implementation science project developed in collaboration with the SMILe (stem cell transplantation facilitated by eHealth) consortium. This project already runs in the University Hospitals of Basel (Switzerland) and Freiburg (Germany) and is currently being rolled out in UZ LEUVEN, as third centre in the SMILe consortium. The SMILe intervention aims at improving the follow-up care of adult allogeneic Stem Cell Transplant (alloSCT) patients using an integrated care model (ICM) consisting of an eHealth interface (the SMILe App, where patients document their health data following transplantation) and an advanced practice nurse (who reviews the submitted data and plans interactive support moments with transplantation recipients).

Date:25 Oct 2021 →  Today
Keywords:eHealth, Implementation science, Integrated care model, Allogeneic stem cell transplantation, Stakeholder involvement
Disciplines:Health information systems of medical informatics, Health management
Project type:PhD project