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Addressing the evidence to practice gap for complex interventions in primary care: a systematic review of reviews protocol
  1. Rosa Lau1,
  2. Fiona Stevenson1,
  3. Bie Nio Ong2,
  4. Krysia Dziedzic2,
  5. Sandra Eldridge3,
  6. Hazel Everitt4,
  7. Anne Kennedy5,
  8. Evangelos Kontopantelis6,
  9. Paul Little4,
  10. Nadeem Qureshi7,
  11. Anne Rogers5,
  12. Shaun Treweek8,
  13. Richard Peacock9,
  14. Elizabeth Murray1
  1. 1E-Health Unit, Department of Primary Care and Population Health, University College London, London, UK
  2. 2Arthritis Research UK Primary Care Centre, Keele University, Keele, UK
  3. 3Centre for Primary Care and Public Health, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK
  4. 4Primary Care and Population Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
  5. 5Faculty of Health Sciences, NIHR CLAHRC Wessex, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
  6. 6Centre for Health Informatics, Institute of Population Health, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  7. 7Division of Primary Care, University of Nottingham, Derby, UK
  8. 8Health Services Research Unit, University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen, UK
  9. 9Archway Healthcare Library, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Rosa Lau; r.lau{at}


Introduction Getting the results of research implemented into routine healthcare is often a challenge. The disconnect between the development and implementation of evidence into practice is called the ‘second translational gap’ and is particularly apparent in primary care. To address this gap, we plan to identify, summarise and synthesise currently available evidence by undertaking a systematic review of reviews to: (1) explore barriers and facilitators of implementation of research evidence or complex interventions, and (2) assess the effectiveness of strategies in facilitating implementation of complex interventions in primary care.

Methods and analysis This is a protocol for a systematic review of reviews. We will search MEDLINE, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library, CINAHL and PsycINFO up until December 2013. We will check reference lists of included studies for further studies. Two authors will independently screen the titles and abstracts identified from the search; any discrepancies will be resolved by discussion and consensus. Full-text papers will be obtained and relevant reviews will be selected against inclusion criteria. Eligible reviews have to be based on predominantly primary care in developed countries and examine either factors to implementation or, the effectiveness of strategies to optimise implementation. Data from eligible reviews will be extracted using standardised data abstraction forms. For barriers and facilitators, data will be synthesised using an interpretative meta-synthesis approach. For implementation strategies, findings will be summarised and described narratively and synthesised using a framework approach. All findings will be reported in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines.

Ethics and dissemination Ethical approval is not required. The review findings will inform the work of the design and implementation of future studies and will be of interest to a wide audience including health professionals, researchers, health service or commissioning managers and policymakers.

Trial registration number Protocol registration number (PROSPERO CRD42014009410).

  • Primary Care
  • Public Health

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