Conceptualizing Context and Intervention as a System in Implementation Science: Learning From Complexity Theory; Comment on “Stakeholder Perspectives of Attributes and Features of Context Relevant to Knowledge Translation in Health Settings: A Multi-country Analysis”

Document Type : Commentary


1 Institute for Medical Information Processing, Biometry and Epidemiology - IBE, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Munich, Germany

2 Pettenkofer School of Public Health, Munich, Germany


In implementation science, implementation has been widely theorized and assessed. Context, on the other hand, usually played a minor role in the field and was usually conceptualized in a rather positivist way. Despite some promising efforts, there is a strong need to continue building theory on context and operationalizing the concept in implementation practice. I argue for the benefit of integrating complexity theory into our understanding of context in order to further our thinking about context and intervention as a system. This should be reflected by the way in which we build theory as well as apply this theory by employing methods that adequately account for complexity in systems.


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Volume 11, Issue 8
August 2022
Pages 1570-1573
  • Receive Date: 17 September 2021
  • Revise Date: 19 October 2021
  • Accept Date: 23 October 2021
  • First Publish Date: 25 October 2021