Facilitation in evidence implementation - Experiences, challenges, and determinants of perceived effectiveness: A qualitative systematic review

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JBI Evidence Implementation


Introduction:Facilitation is a key element of evidence implementation. Although quantitative systematic reviews have been undertaken to examine its components and effectiveness, no attempt has been made to synthesize qualitative evidence examining the experiences of facilitators on how facilitation is operationalized, the challenges associated with it, and the factors that can influence its perceived effectiveness.Methods:A systematic review of qualitative studies was conducted using the JBI methodology.Results:A total of 36 qualitative studies was included in the systematic review, with the majority being assessed as high quality following critical appraisal. The findings were extracted and further synthesized, highlighting that facilitation involves providing technical and non-technical support to health professionals, as well as high-intensity collaborations and relationship building. Determinants of perceived effectiveness of facilitation include facilitators' access to resources and learning support; their skills, traits/attitudes, and approach to facilitation; and the context of the organization where the implementation occurs. Work demands, emotional stress, and lack of clarity in roles and career development can pose challenges for facilitators.Conclusion:To maximize the outcomes of facilitation in evidence implementation, the team of facilitators should be carefully selected to ensure they have the right skills, traits/attitudes, and approach to facilitation. They should also be provided with dedicated time to conduct the facilitation and have access to resources, training, and mentoring support. Future research should aim to examine the perspectives of the "implementers" who received support from facilitators to gain a better understanding of which facilitation strategies have an impact on clinical practice behavior.Review registration number:PROSPERO CRD42023402496.

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