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Supporting successful implementation of public health interventions: protocol for a realist synthesis

Overview of attention for article published in Systematic Reviews, January 2016
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  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • Good Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (78th percentile)
  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (61st percentile)

Mentioned by

12 tweeters


31 Dimensions

Readers on

163 Mendeley
1 CiteULike
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Supporting successful implementation of public health interventions: protocol for a realist synthesis
Published in
Systematic Reviews, January 2016
DOI 10.1186/s13643-016-0229-1
Pubmed ID

Marjorie MacDonald, Bernadette Pauly, Geoff Wong, Kara Schick-Makaroff, Thea van Roode, Heather Wilson Strosher, Anita Kothari, Ruta Valaitis, Heather Manson, Warren O’Briain, Simon Carroll, Victoria Lee, Samantha Tong, Karen Dickenson Smith, Megan Ward, MacDonald, Marjorie, Pauly, Bernadette, Wong, Geoff, Schick-Makaroff, Kara, van Roode, Thea, Strosher, Heather Wilson, Kothari, Anita, Valaitis, Ruta, Manson, Heather, O'Briain, Warren, Carroll, Simon, Lee, Victoria, Tong, Samantha, Smith, Karen Dickenson, Ward, Megan


There is a growing emphasis in public health on the importance of evidence-based interventions to improve population health and reduce health inequities. Equally important is the need for knowledge about how to implement these interventions successfully. Yet, a gap remains between the development of evidence-based public health interventions and their successful implementation. Conventional systematic reviews have been conducted on effective implementation in health care, but few in public health, so their relevance to public health is unclear. In most reviews, stringent inclusion criteria have excluded entire bodies of evidence that may be relevant for policy makers, program planners, and practitioners to understand implementation in the unique public health context. Realist synthesis is a theory-driven methodology that draws on diverse data from different study designs to explain how and why observed outcomes occur in different contexts and thus may be more appropriate for public health. This paper presents a realist review protocol to answer the research question: Why are some public health interventions successfully implemented and others not? Based on a review of implementation theories and frameworks, we developed an initial program theory, adapted for public health from the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research, to explain the implementation outcomes of public health interventions within particular contexts. This will guide us through the review process, which comprises eight iterative steps based on established realist review guidelines and quality standards. We aim to refine this initial theory into a 'final' realist program theory that explains important context-mechanism-outcome configurations in the successful implementation of public health interventions. Developing new public health interventions is costly and policy windows that support their implementation can be short lived. Ineffective implementation wastes scarce resources and is neither affordable nor sustainable. Public health interventions that are not implemented will not have their intended effects on improving population health and promoting health equity. This synthesis will provide evidence to support effective implementation of public health interventions taking into account the variable context of interventions. A series of knowledge translation products specific to the needs of knowledge users will be developed to provide implementation support. PROSPERO CRD42015030052.

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 12 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 163 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
United Kingdom 1 <1%
Spain 1 <1%
Canada 1 <1%
Unknown 160 98%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 30 18%
Researcher 26 16%
Student > Ph. D. Student 16 10%
Student > Bachelor 14 9%
Student > Postgraduate 7 4%
Other 33 20%
Unknown 37 23%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Nursing and Health Professions 42 26%
Medicine and Dentistry 34 21%
Social Sciences 17 10%
Psychology 7 4%
Economics, Econometrics and Finance 3 2%
Other 20 12%
Unknown 40 25%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 8. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 21 November 2017.
All research outputs
of 19,149,909 outputs
Outputs from Systematic Reviews
of 1,710 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 274,103 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Systematic Reviews
of 18 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 19,149,909 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done well and is in the 82nd percentile: it's in the top 25% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 1,710 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 12.7. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 56% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 274,103 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done well, scoring higher than 78% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 18 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 61% of its contemporaries.