Prof Fiona Lobban: IMPlementation of A Relatives’ Toolkit: Examining the critical success factors, barriers and facilitators to implementation of an online supported self-management intervention in the NHS (IMPART study)

The IMPART study, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Services and Delivery Research (HS&DR) Programme (project number 14/04/16), successfully received funding following expert advice from the NIHR Research Design Service North West (RDS NW).

The study uses an iterative case series design in six NHS Trusts and examines the implementation process of an online support self-management intervention for relatives of people with psychosis / bipolar disorder in Early Intervention Services. This is an important study that aims to help reduce the evidence-practice gap and will have broad implications for digital development across healthcare settings.

See www.nets.nihr.ac.uk/projects/hsdr/140416 for more information on the study.

Led by Professor Fiona Lobban, Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research, Lancaster University, the study was developed and is delivered in collaboration with a range of clinical academics, clinical health professionals, methodological experts and service users across UK Universities and NHS Trusts.

During the development of the funding application an RDS NW case manager led an advising team of three RDS NW advisers, including the case manager, in providing advice on the development of the funding application.

When the RDS NW was first approached, it was not clear which funding programme this project would be best suited to. The RDS NW enabled the identification of the appropriate funding programme, HS&DR, but also facilitated communication with other successful HS&DR applicants, enabling the application to fit the requirement of the programme. Through the RDS NW case manager, expert RDS NW methodologists were identified in key areas. These advisers enabled the project team to think through the most appropriate design. Advisers also provided support on the funding submission process including detailed feedback on draft submissions. The RDS NW also provided advice on user involvement in developing the application. Service users and relatives were involved in developing the study and are also involved in the delivery of the study.

The views and opinions expressed therein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the HS&DR Programme, NIHR, NHS or the Department of Health.