Bridging the gap: an introduction to implementation science

The evidence base for effective practices and programs is growing and the expectation that youth mental health care be informed by research evidence has never been greater. However, organisations that adopt new interventions or programs often fail to implement them with sufficient quality to achieve the desired outcomes.

To bridge this gap between research and practice, the field of implementation science is developing our understanding of what it takes to successfully implement evidence-based practices in the real world.

To stimulate the thinking of those involved in developing, planning, commissioning, and providing youth mental health programs, this brief guide provides an overview of the implementation science field. It covers:

  • What is implementation and why does it matter?
  • What real world factors affect implementation?
  • How can quality implementation be achieved?
  • How can success be measured?
  • Where has implementation science been applied in the field?
  • Examples of implementation science being applied in youth mental health