August Journal Club Feedback

The third meeting of the new UK-IS Journal Club took place on 31st August 2021. Hosted by UK-IS Trustee Tom Jefford, the group reviewed Making sense of implementation theories, models and frameworks by Per Nilsen (2015) Implementation Science 10: 53

The group who attended – a mix of researchers, practitioners and post-graduate students – had a really interesting discussion, and this blog contains a summary of the take home messages from the meeting.



Implementation science has progressed towards increased use of theoretical approaches to provide better understanding and explanation of how and why implementation succeeds or fails. The aim of this article is to propose a taxonomy that distinguishes between different categories of theories, models and frameworks in implementation science, to facilitate appropriate selection and application of relevant approaches in implementation research and practice and to foster cross-disciplinary dialogue among implementation researchers.


This highly cited article by Per Nilsen is a very useful review of frameworks, theories and models that are commonly used in implementation science.

The club explored the usefulness of the Per Nilsen article and agreed that it was a helpful piece to navigate the implementation landscape, not only for the beginner but for the more experienced too which is why is has been so heavily cited.

Discussion continued as to how to make choices regarding which implementation frameworks to use and how to develop the skills to know how to make this choice or when to switch from one to another.

We discussed how models, frameworks and classical theory can build knowledge in implementation with each delivering different layers to our understanding. It was suggested that the T-CaST model might be the place to help with this question:

There was discussion regarding the tables Nilsen presented and how these showed how models had tended to ignore the contribution or place of patients or service users.

Participants reflected upon how work since the article had or had not adopted the new taxonomy presented or if there remained divisions of language and meaning. Overall there was strong support and appreciation of the article

Hosted/summarised by Tom Jefford.

© UK Implementation Society, 2021

All views expressed are the author's own and not those of the UK Implementation Society.

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