Bridging the Gap Between Research and Practice: Implementation Science Purpose This article introduces implementation science, which focuses on research methods that promote the systematic application of research findings to practice. Method The narrative defines implementation science and highlights the importance of moving research along the pipeline from basic science to practice as one way to facilitate evidence-based ... Supplement Article
Supplement Article  |   December 01, 2015
Bridging the Gap Between Research and Practice: Implementation Science
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lesley B. Olswang
    University of Washington, Seattle
  • Patricia A. Prelock
    University of Vermont, Burlington
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Lesley B. Olswang: lolswang@uw.edu
  • Editor and Associate Editor: Rhea Paul
    Editor and Associate Editor: Rhea Paul×
Article Information
Research Issues, Methods & Evidence-Based Practice / Supplement: Implementation Science
Supplement Article   |   December 01, 2015
Bridging the Gap Between Research and Practice: Implementation Science
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2015, Vol. 58, S1818-S1826. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-14-0305
History: Received October 28, 2014 , Revised January 5, 2015 , Accepted January 25, 2015
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 2015, Vol. 58, S1818-S1826. doi:10.1044/2015_JSLHR-L-14-0305
History: Received October 28, 2014; Revised January 5, 2015; Accepted January 25, 2015
Web of Science® Times Cited: 5

Purpose This article introduces implementation science, which focuses on research methods that promote the systematic application of research findings to practice.

Method The narrative defines implementation science and highlights the importance of moving research along the pipeline from basic science to practice as one way to facilitate evidence-based service delivery. This review identifies challenges in developing and testing interventions in order to achieve widespread adoption in practice settings. A framework for conceptualizing implementation research is provided, including an example to illustrate the application of principles in speech-language pathology. Last, the authors reflect on the status of implementation research in the discipline of communication sciences and disorders.

Conclusions The extant literature highlights the value of implementation science for reducing the gap between research and practice in our discipline. While having unique principles guiding implementation research, many of the challenges and questions are similar to those facing any investigators who are attempting to design valid and reliable studies. This article is intended to invigorate interest in the uniqueness of implementation science among those pursuing both basic and applied research. In this way, it should help ensure the discipline's knowledge base is realized in practice and policy that affects the lives of individuals with communication disorders.

Acknowledgments
This research was supported in part by a grant from the University of Washington, Institute of Translational Health Sciences, Small Pilot Project Grant, “Integrating an evidence-based communication intervention for young children with physical disabilities into a community early intervention center,” awarded to Lesley B. Olswang, December 2013–January 2014.
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