Eight Characteristics of Rigorous Multilevel Implementation Research: A Step-by-Step Guide

February 20, 2024

Gregory Aarons, PhD
University of California, San Diego

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Gregory Aarons, PhD | February 20, 2024:

Although healthcare is delivered in inherently multilevel contexts, implementation science has no widely endorsed methodological standards defining the characteristics of rigorous, multilevel implementation research. Presenters will identify and describe eight characteristics of high-quality, multilevel implementation research to encourage discussion, spur debate, and guide decision-making around study design and methodological issues. These eight characteristics provide benchmarks for evaluating the quality and replicability of multilevel implementation research and promote a common language and reference points. This, in turn, facilitates knowledge generation across diverse multilevel settings and ensures that implementation research is consistent with (and appropriately leverages) what has already been learned in allied multilevel sciences. When a shared and integrated description of what constitutes rigor is defined and broadly communicated, implementation science is better positioned to innovate both methodologically and theoretically.