Background In a research context, self-management solutions, which may range from simple book diaries to complex telehealth packages, designed to facilitate patients in managing their long-term conditions, have often shown cost-effectiveness, but their implementation in practice has frequently been challenging. Methods We conducted an interpretive qualitative synthesis of relevant articles identified through systematic searches of bibliographic databases in July 2014. We searched PubMed (Medline/NLM), Web of Science, LISTA (EBSCO), CINAHL, Embase and PsycINFO. Coding and analysis was inductive, using the framework method to code and to categorise themes. We took a sensemaking approach to the interpretation of findings. Results Fifty-eight articles were selected for synthesis. Results showed that during adoption, factors identified as facilitators by some were experienced as barriers by others, and facilitators could change to barriers for the same adopter, depending on how adopters rationalise the solutions within their context when making decisions about (retaining) adoption. Sometimes, when adopters saw and experienced benefits of a solution, they continued using the solution but changed their minds when they could no longer see the benefits. Thus, adopters placed a positive value on the solution if they could constructively rationalise it (which increased adoption) and attached a negative rationale (decreasing adoption) if the solution did not meet their expectations. Key factors that influenced the way adopters rationalised the solutions consisted of costs and the added value of the solution to them and moral, social, motivational and cultural factors. Conclusions Considering ‘barriers’ and ‘facilitators’ for implementation may be too simplistic. Implementers could instead iteratively re-evaluate how potential facilitators and barriers are being experienced by adopters throughout the implementation process, to help adopters to retain constructive evaluations of the solution. Implementers need to pay attention to factors including (a) cost: how much resource will the intervention cost the patient or professional; (b) moral: to what extent will people adhere because they want to be ‘good’ patients and professionals; (c) social: the expectations of patients and professionals regarding the interactive support they will receive; (d) motivational: motivations to engage with the intervention and (e) cultural: how patients and professionals learn and integrate new skills into their daily routines, practices and cultures.

Original publication




Journal article


Implementation Science


BioMed Central

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