Although the importance of the organizational environment for implementing evidence-based practices (EBP) has been widely recognized, there are limited options for measuring implementation climate in public sector health settings. The goal of this research was to develop and test a measure of EBP implementation climate that would both capture a broad range of issues important for effective EBP implementation and be of practical use to researchers and managers seeking to understand and improve the implementation of EBPs.
Participants were 630 clinicians working in 128 work groups in 32 US-based mental health agencies. Items to measure climate for EBP implementation were developed based on past literature on implementation climate and other strategic climates and in consultation with experts on the implementation of EBPs in mental health settings. The sample was randomly split at the work group level of analysis; half of the sample was used for exploratory factor analysis (EFA), and the other half was used for confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). The entire sample was utilized for additional analyses assessing the reliability, support for level of aggregation, and construct-based evidence of validity.
The EFA resulted in a final factor structure of six dimensions for the Implementation Climate Scale (ICS): 1) focus on EBP, 2) educational support for EBP, 3) recognition for EBP, 4) rewards for EBP, 5) selection for EBP, and 6) selection for openness. This structure was supported in the other half of the sample using CFA. Additional analyses supported the reliability and construct-based evidence of validity for the ICS, as well as the aggregation of the measure to the work group level.
The ICS is a very brief (18 item) and pragmatic measure of a strategic climate for EBP implementation. It captures six dimensions of the organizational context that indicate to employees the extent to which their organization prioritizes and values the successful implementation of EBPs. The ICS can be used by researchers to better understand the role of the organizational context on implementation outcomes and by organizations to evaluate their current climate as they consider how to improve the likelihood of implementation success.
Implementation climate; Organizational climate; Strategic climate; Evidence-based practice; Organizational context; Measurement
Copyright © (2014) Ehrhart, M.G. et al. Abstract reprinted by AIR in compliance with the BioMed Central Open Access Charter at http://www.biomedcentral.com/about/policies/license-agreement.