INTRODUCTION: Over the past 10 years, research into methods that promote the uptake, implementation and sustainability of evidence-based interventions has gathered pace. However, implementation outcomes are defined in different ways and assessed by different measures; the extent to which these measures are valid and reliable is unknown. The aim of this systematic review is to identify and appraise studies that assess the measurement properties of quantitative implementation outcome instruments used in physical healthcare settings, to advance the use of precise and accurate measures.
METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The following databases will be searched from inception to March 2017: MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, CINAHL and the Cochrane Library. Grey literature will be sought via HMIC, OpenGrey, ProQuest for theses and Web of Science Conference Proceedings Citation Index-Science. Reference lists of included studies and relevant reviews will be hand searched. Three search strings will be combined to identify eligible studies: (1) implementation literature, (2) implementation outcomes and (3) measurement properties. Screening of titles, abstracts and full papers will be assessed for eligibility by two reviewers independently and any discrepancies resolved via consensus with the wider team. The methodological quality of the studies will be assessed using the COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments checklist. A set of bespoke criteria to determine the quality of the instruments will be used, and the relationship between instrument usability and quality will be explored.
ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval is not necessary for systematic review protocols. Researchers and healthcare professionals can use the findings of this systematic review to guide the selection of implementation outcomes instruments, based on their psychometric quality, to assess the impact of their implementation efforts. The findings will also provide a useful guide for reviewers of papers and grants to determine the psychometric quality of the measures used in implementation research.
TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO): CRD42017065348.