A Hermeneutic Approach to Advancing Implementation Science

Project Summary

Changing health care is difficult. Many changes suggested by research are only partially implemented or not implemented at all. Often, research about implementation looks at only one innovation at a time, typically in a top-down manner.

This project will study a bottom-up approach that considers how health care research and innovation actually happen in rural and remote communities.

The project takes an approach called hermeneutics. Hermeneutic research seeks understanding through the interpretation of meaning and language. The project will attempt to understand how knowledge is created and extended during implementation or innovation.

The project team will summarize existing knowledge in this area. Next, the team will conduct interviews and observations to understand how knowledge is created and used to improve clinical practice or policies.

The results of this study will show how learning and change occurs in everyday practice. It will help other research teams know about different approaches to studying implementation, especially in rural and remote communities.


McCaffrey G, Wilson E, Jonatansdottir S, et al. But is It Hermeneutic Enough?: Reading for Methodological Salience in a Scoping Review of Hermeneutics and Implementation Science. International Journal of Qualitative Methods. January 2022. doi:10.1177/16094069211070408

This project is part of the Knowledge Translation and Implementation Science Cluster.

Project Lead

Martha MacLeod