Supporting successful implementation of public health interventions: a realist synthesis

Funding body: CIHR Knowledge Synthesis

Background: Despite the growing public health emphasis on the importance of evidence-based interventions to improve population health and reduce health inequities, a gap remains between the development of these interventions and their successful implementation.  While traditional reviews have been conducted to examine effective implementation in health care, the relevance to public health is unclear. Furthermore, these exclude bodies of evidence that may inform on factors unique to the public health context.  As realist synthesis draws on diverse data from different study designs to explain how and why observed outcomes occur in different contexts, it allows these factors to be examined. Thus, the purpose of this project is to conduct a realist synthesis of research on effective strategies to support implementation of public health interventions and better inform on factors that influence the implementation process. An integrated knowledge translation approach has been used which includes collaboration with knowledge users at every stage of the process to increase the relevance of the review to stakeholders. 

Progress to date: We received an extension on this project until March of 2017. The final report has been submitted and several papers based on this realist review are in progress.


  • Dr. Marjorie MacDonald (Co-PI)
  • Dr. Bernie Pauly (Co-PI)
  • Paton, A. (Co-PI)
  • Buchner, C.
  • Hancock, T
  • Lee, V.
  • O’Briain, W.
  • Carroll, S.
  • Jackson, B.
  • Manson, H.
  • Makaroff, K.
  • Smith, K.
  • Kothari, A.
  • Martin, C.
  • Valaitis, R.