Background: Healthcare information For All (HIFA), is a global initiative of more than 15 000 individuals in 270 countries. Under a new programme on Evidence Informed Policy and Practice, supported by WHO, TDR and The Lancet, themed discussions were conducted in the HIFA virtual forum.
Objectives: To present the results of the themed discussion on 'Implementation Research(IR) - engaging everyone, not just scientists'.
Methods: The HIFA moderator introduced IR in the first week and every week one set of question was send to the forum:
• Have you ever heard of IR? What do you think of it?
• Have you been involved in any IR? Can you tell us about your experience? What was your group able to accomplish and how? What were the challenges?
• Have you used or applied the results of IR? How? What were the benefits? What were the challenges?
• If you are a frontline healthcare provider, what are the key challenges in making medical treatments and other health services available to the population you serve? What needs to be done to better understand and address these challenges? Can you suggest IR questions that might be explored through IR?
• How does your community (local community, country, professional group) view health research? How could you get them involved?
• What is needed to strengthen national and international capacity to undertake and apply IR?
A thematic analysis was conducted.
Results: There were about 100 substantial contributions from across the globe and the following themes emerged on thematic analyses :
• Confusion about terminology and scope of IR, particularly in relation to quality improvement, operational research, knowledge translation and health-services research.
• Difficulty in locating IR articles for policy making, programme planning and research
• IR provides an opportunity to better understand the health system and policy perspective, and research questions are best identified by health workers.
Conclusion: There is a need to conduct more research on misgiving about IR and use the results to clear such doubts. More awareness and training about IR among healthcare, research and policy professionals is required.