Research nurses as practice facilitators to disseminate an asthma shared decision making intervention.

Published online

Journal Article

Background: Practice facilitation is a method of introducing and sustaining organizational change. It involves the use of skilled healthcare professionals called practice facilitators (PFs) to help address the challenges associated with implementing evidence-based guidelines and complex interventions into practice. PFs provide a framework for translating research into practice by building relationships, improving communication, fostering change, and sharing resources. Nurses are well positioned to serve as PFs for the implementation of complex interventions, however, there is little evidence currently available to describe nurses in this role. Additionally, the best strategies to implement complex interventions into practices are still not fully understood. Combining practice facilitation with the train-the-trainer model has the potential to spread knowledge and skills. Shared decision making (SDM), which involves patients and providers jointly engaging in decisions around treatment options, has been shown to improve outcomes for patients with asthma. The goal of this manuscript is to describe and evaluate the practice facilitation process from the ADAPT-NC Study which successfully utilized research nurses to implement a complex asthma SDM toolkit intervention into primary care practices. Methods: As part of a larger study, 10 primary care practices were recruited for a facilitator-led dissemination intervention involving a 12-week rollout of an asthma SDM toolkit (trial registration: 1.28.2014, #NCT02047929). An experienced lead PF trained research nurses as PFs from each of the 4 participating practice-based research networks (PBRNs) in a train-the-trainer model utilizing a one-day training event and subsequent remote meetings. Evaluation of PF engagement was measured through process improvement surveys. Results: Overall, the asthma SDM intervention was successfully implemented within the 4 PBRNs. All 10 facilitator-led practices remained engaged with their PFs, with 8 out of the 10 practices able to incorporate and sustain SDM visits or clinics. Responses from the surveys for process improvement yielded improved PF communication and team dynamics over time. Conclusions: This study demonstrated effective use of research nurses as practice facilitators during the dissemination of an asthma SDM intervention into primary care practices, adding to the knowledge of best practices by describing a model of large-scale implementation of a complex intervention through practice facilitation with nurses. Trial registration: "Comparing Traditional and Participatory Dissemination of a Shared Decision Making Intervention" was retrospectively registered at on January 28th, 2014 (NCT02047929).

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Shade, L; Reeves, K; Rees, J; Hendrickson, L; Halladay, J; Dolor, RJ; Bray, P; Tapp, H

Published Date

  • 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 19 /

Start / End Page

  • 40 -

PubMed ID

  • 32477003

Pubmed Central ID

  • 32477003

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1472-6955

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1186/s12912-020-00414-0


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England