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J Health Serv Res Policy. 2001 Jan;6(1):23-31.

Implementation of evidence-based medicine: evaluation of the Promoting Action on Clinical Effectiveness programme.

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Templeton College, UK.



To evaluate the Promoting Action on Clinical Effectiveness (PACE) programme, which sought to implement clinically effective practice in 16 local sites.


182 semi-structured interviews, usually by telephone, with project team members, clinicians, and senior managers and representatives from the Department of Health and the King's Fund.


The most influential factors were strong evidence, supportive opinion leaders and integration within a committed organization; without these factors, projects had little chance of success. Other factors (context analysis, professional involvement and good project management) emerged as important, supporting processes; their presence might be an additional help, but on their own they would not be enough to initiate change. A serious problem with any of them could have a strong adverse impact.


Although there is no simple formula for the factors that ensure successful implementation of research-based improvements to clinical practice, certain principles do seem to help. Time and resource need to be devoted to a period of local negotiation and adaptation of good research evidence based on a careful understanding of the local context, in which opinion leader influence is an important component of a well managed and preferably well integrated process of change.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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