Efficacious, effective, and embedded interventions: implementation research in infectious disease control

Allotey, Pascale; Reidpath, Daniel D.; Ghalib, Hashim; Pagnoni, Franco; Skelly, William C.
January 2008
BMC Public Health;2008, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p343
Academic Journal
Background: Research in infectious disease control is heavily skewed towards high end technology; development of new drugs, vaccines and clinical interventions. Oft ignored, is the evidence to inform the best strategies that ensure the embedding of interventions into health systems and amongst populations. In this paper we undertake an analysis of the challenge in the development of research for the sustainable implementation of disease control interventions. Results: We highlight the fundamental differences between the research paradigms associated with the development of technologies and interventions for disease control on the one hand and the research paradigms required for enhancing the sustainable uptake of those very same interventions within the communities on the other. We provide a definition for implementation research in an attempt to underscore its critical role and explore the multidisciplinary science needed to address the challenges in disease control. Conclusion: The greatest value for money in health research lies in the sustainable and effective implementation of already proven, efficacious solutions. The development of implementation research that can help provide some solutions on how this can be achieved is sorely needed


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