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Rabin BA, McCreight M, Battaglia C, Ayele R, Burke RE, Hess PL, Frank JW, Glasgow RE. Systematic, Multimethod Assessment of Adaptations Across Four Diverse Health Systems Interventions. Frontiers in public health. 2018 Apr 9; 6(102):102.
Background: Many health outcomes and implementation science studies have demonstrated the importance of tailoring evidence-based care interventions to local context to improve fit. By adapting to local culture, history, resources, characteristics, and priorities, interventions are more likely to lead to improved outcomes. However, it is unclear how best to adapt evidence-based programs and promising innovations. There are few guides or examples of how to best categorize or assess health-care adaptations, and even fewer that are brief and practical for use by non-researchers. Materials and methods: This study describes the importance and potential of assessing adaptations before, during, and after the implementation of health systems interventions. We present a promising multilevel and multimethod approach developed and being applied across four different health systems interventions. Finally, we discuss implications and opportunities for future research. Results: The four case studies are diverse in the conditions addressed, interventions, and implementation strategies. They include two nurse coordinator-based transition of care interventions, a data and training-driven multimodal pain management project, and a cardiovascular patient-reported outcomes project, all of which are using audit and feedback. We used the same modified adaptation framework to document changes made to the interventions and implementation strategies. To create the modified framework, we started with the adaptation and modification model developed by Stirman and colleagues and expanded it by adding concepts from the RE-AIM framework. Our assessments address the intuitive domains of to classify and organize adaptations. For each case study, we discuss how the modified framework was operationalized, the multiple methods used to collect data, results to date and approaches utilized for data analysis. These methods include a real-time tracking system and structured interviews at key times during the intervention. We provide descriptive data on the types and categories of adaptations made and discuss lessons learned. Conclusion: The multimethod approaches demonstrate utility across diverse health systems interventions. The modified adaptations model adequately captures adaptations across the various projects and content areas. We recommend systematic documentation of adaptations in future clinical and public health research and have made our assessment materials publicly available.