Applying systems thinking and human-centered design to development of intervention implementation strategies: an example from adolescent health research

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ABSTRACT

Introducing innovative health interventions into clinic settings requires a comprehensive and creative approach to multiple implementation challenges. To optimize implementation of a sexual and reproductive health intervention for young women with depression, we applied systems thinking and human-centered design thinking methods to develop tools and strategies to address issues influencing intervention implementation in diverse clinics. We recruited staff from three clinics that provide sexual and reproductive health and behavioral health care to young women. Across five sessions (four video conference calls, one in-person workshop), we used systems mapping to identify key stakeholders and their relationships, processes, and challenges to care; formed clinic staff-investigator design teams; brainstormed about challenges that would influence intervention implementation and considered potential solutions; prioritized implementation challenges; and designed prototypes of solutions. Participants responded positively to the systems thinking perspective and collaborative design thinking process, which resulted in generalizable considerations about solving implementation challenges for clinic-based interventions.

AUTHOR BIOGRAPHIES

Lydia A. Shrier, Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Dr. Lydia A. Shrier, MD, MPH is Senior Associate in Pediatrics in the Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.

Pamela J. Burke

Dr. Pamela J. Burke, PhD, RN is Affiliate Professor of Nursing at Northeastern University, Advanced Practice Nurse and Leadership Education in Adolescent Health (LEAH) Faculty in the Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital, and Lecturer in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.

Cassandra Jonestrask

Ms. Cassandra Jonestrask is a Clinical Research Coordinator in the Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital in Boston Massachusetts.

Sabra L. Katz-Wise, Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School

Dr. Sabra L. Katz-Wise, PhD is ​Research Associate in the Division of Adolescent/Young Adult Medicine at Boston Children's Hospital, Assistant Professor in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, and Assistant Professor in Social and Behavioral Sciences at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts.

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