Evaluation of the implementation process of the mobile health platform ‘WelTel’ in six sites in East Africa and Canada using the modified consolidated framework for implementation research (mCFIR) El Joueidi, Samia; Bardosh, Kevin; Musoke, Richard; Tilahun, Binyam; Abo Moslim, Maryam; Gourlay, Katie; MacMullin, Alissa; Cook, Victoria J.; Murray, Melanie C. M.; Mbaraga, Gilbert; Nsanzimana, Sabin; Lester, Richard T.
Background Health systems globally are investing in integrating secure messaging platforms for virtual care in clinical practice. Implementation science is essential for adoption, scale-up, spread and maintenance of complex evidence-based solutions in clinics with evolving priorities. In response, the mobile Health (mHealth) Research Group modified the existing consolidated framework for implementation research (CFIR) to evaluate implementation of virtual health tools in clinical settings. WelTel® is an evidence-based digital health platform widely deployed in various geographical and health contexts. The objective is to identify the facilitators and barriers for implementing WelTel and to assess the application of the mCFIR tool in facilitating focus groups in different geographical and health settings. Methods Both qualitative and descriptive quantitative approaches were employed. Six mCFIR sessions were held in three countries with 51 key stakeholders. The mCFIR tool consists of 5 Domains and 25 constructs and was distributed through Qualtrics Experience Management (XM). “Performance” and “Importance” scores were valued on a scale of 0 to 10 (Mean ± SD). Descriptive analysis was conducted using R computing software. NVivo 12 Pro software was used to analyze mCFIR responses and to generate themes from the participants’ input. Results We observed a parallel trend in the scores of Importance and Performance. Of the five Domains, Domain 4 (End-user Characteristics) and Domain 3 (Inner Settings) scored highest in Importance (8.9 ± 0.5 and 8.6 ± 0.6, respectively) and Performance (7.6 ± 0.7 and 7.2 ± 1.3, respectively) for all sites. Domain 2 (Outer Setting) scored the lowest in both Importance and Performance for all sites (7.6 ± 0.4 and 5.6 ± 1.8). The thematic analysis produced the following themes: for areas of strengths, the themes brought up were timely diagnosis and response, cost-effectiveness, and user-friendliness. As for areas for improvement, the themes discussed were training, phone accessibility, stakeholder engagement, and literacy. Conclusion The mCFIR tool allowed for a comprehensive understanding of the barriers and facilitators to the implementation, reach, and scale-up of digital health tools. Amongst several important findings, we observed the value of bringing the perspectives of both end users (HCPs and patients) to the table across Domains. Trial Registration: NCT02603536 – November 11, 2015: WelTelOAKTREE: Text Messaging to Support Patients With HIV/AIDS in British Columbia (WelTelOAKTREE). NCT01549457 – March 9, 2012: TB mHealth Study—Use of Cell Phones to Improve Compliance in Patients on LTBI Treatment.
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