Background: In a previous trial in Vietnam, a facilitation strategy to secure evidence-based practice in primary care resulted in reduced neonatal mortality over a period of three years. While little is known as to what ensures sustainability in the implementation of community-based strategies, the aim of this study was to investigate factors promoting or hindering implementation, and sustainability of knowledge implementation strategies, by means of the former Neonatal Knowledge Into Practice (NeoKIP) trial. Methods: In 2014 we targeted all levels in the Vietnamese healthcare system: six individual interviews with representatives at national, provincial and district levels, and six focus group discussions with representatives at the commune level. The interviews were transcribed verbatim, translated to English, and analysed using inductive and deductive thematic analysis. Results: To achieve successful implementation and sustained effect of community-based knowledge implementation strategies, engagement of leaders and key stakeholders at all levels of the healthcare system is vital–prior to, during and after a project. Implementation and sustainability require thorough needs assessment, tailoring of the intervention, and consideration of how to attain and manage funds. The NeoKIP trial was characterised by a high degree of engagement at the primary healthcare system level. Further, three years post trial, maternal and neonatal care was still high on the agenda for healthcare workers and leaders, even though primary aspects such as stakeholder engagement at all levels, and funding had been incomplete or lacking. Conclusions: The current study illustrates factors to support successful implementation and sustain effects of community-based strategies in projects in low- and middle-income settings; some but not all factors were represented during the post-NeoKIP era. Most importantly, trials in this and similar contexts require deliberate management throughout and beyond the project lifetime, and engagement of key stakeholders, in order to promote and sustain knowledge implementation.
Eriksson, L., Bergström, A., Hoa, D. T. P., Nga, N. T., & Eldh, A. C. (2017). Sustainability of knowledge implementation in a low- and middle- income context: Experiences from a facilitation project in Vietnam targeting maternal and neonatal health. PLoS ONE, 12(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0182626