Implementation of a multicomponent family support intervention in adult intensive care units: study protocol for an embedded mixed-methods multiple case study (FICUS implementation study)

Saskia Oesch*, Lotte Verweij, Lauren Clack, Tracy Finch, Marco Riguzzi, Rahel Naef

*Corresponding author for this work

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Background: The implementation of complex interventions is considered challenging, particularly in multi-site clinical trials and dynamic clinical settings. This study protocol is part of the family intensive care units (FICUS) hybrid effectiveness-implementation study. It aims to understand the integration of a multicomponent family support intervention in the real-world context of adult intensive care units (ICUs). Specifically, the study will assess implementation processes and outcomes of the study intervention, including fidelity, and will enable explanation of the clinical effectiveness outcomes of the trial. Methods and analysis: This mixed-methods multiple case study is guided by two implementation theories, the Normalisation Process Theory and the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research. Participants are key clinical partners and healthcare professionals of eight ICUs allocated to the intervention group of the FICUS trial in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Data will be collected at four timepoints over the 18-month active implementation and delivery phase using qualitative (small group interviews, observation, focus group interviews) and quantitative data collection methods (surveys, logs). Descriptive statistics and parametric and non-parametric tests will be used according to data distribution to analyse within and between cluster differences, similarities and factors associated with fidelity and the level of integration over time. Qualitative data will be analysed using a pragmatic rapid analysis approach and content analysis. Ethics and dissemination: Ethics approval was obtained from the Cantonal Ethics Committee of Zurich BASEC ID 2021-02300 (8 February 2022). Study findings will provide insights into implementation and its contribution to intervention outcomes, enabling understanding of the usefulness of applied implementation strategies and highlighting main barriers that need to be addressed for scaling the intervention to other healthcare contexts. Findings will be disseminated in peer-reviewed journals and conferences. Protocol registration number: Open science framework (OSF) Registered on 21 December 2022.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere074142
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2023

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