This study of the implementation of the Interconnected Systems Framework identified three primary implementation challenges: staff turnover, inadequate leadership buy-in, and insufficient time for training/planning.
This study explores implementation barriers encountered during a randomized controlled trial testing effects of one complex intervention strategy—the Interconnected Systems Framework—from the lens of a practical model for conceptualizing organizational readiness—the Interactive Systems Framework for Dissemination and Implementation. Implementation of the Interconnected Systems Framework was explored via focus group and key informant interviews with school and mental health professionals, and research team members responsible for implementing the intervention in randomly assigned study schools. Results from inductive thematic analysis of verbatim transcripts identified three primary implementation challenges: staff turnover, inadequate leadership buy-in, and insufficient time for training/planning. Each challenge is explored from interview participants' perspectives and the extant literature, then connected to recommendations from implementation science to help others avoid similar challenges in their well-intentioned efforts to address the mounting concern for students' wellbeing. Schools and research partners are increasingly implementing complex, multicomponent interventions and school-wide frameworks to better meet students' social, emotional, behavioral, and academic needs; however, in the research and real-world contexts, implementation is often fraught with many challenges and barriers to success. (Published Abstract Provided)
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