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Theoretical Domains Framework for behaviour change research

Implementation Science

Behaviour change is key to increasing the uptake of evidence into healthcare practice and improving health outcomes. A variety of psychological theories have been used to explain health care professional behaviours and cognitions across a range of behaviours and settings. However, the large number of theories and overlapping constructs presents a challenge for knowing how to select and apply theories when exploring specific behaviours. 

The Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF), which includes constructs from 33 behaviour change theories, was developed to make theories more accessible for implementation researchers. The aim of this thematic series is to document the impact of this theoretical framework on implementation research and to consider its strengths, limitations and potential for further use and development. 

The papers included in the series: demonstrate the breadth of behaviours, clinical settings, designs and methods that have used the TDF; explain how the TDF can be operationalised and applied to explore implementation problems and design implementation interventions; describe theoretical and methodological developments based on the TDF; raise questions that may suggest an agenda for future TDF research.

This collection of articles has not been sponsored and articles have undergone the journal’s standard peer review process. 

View all collections published in Implementation Science


  1. Content type: Research

    Mild traumatic brain injury is a frequent cause of presentation to emergency departments. Despite the availability of clinical practice guidelines in this area, there is variation in practice. One of the aims ...

    Authors: Emma J Tavender, Marije Bosch, Russell L Gruen, Sally E Green, Jonathan Knott, Jill J Francis, Susan Michie and Denise A O’Connor

    Citation: Implementation Science 2014 9:8

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  2. Content type: Research

    The Canadian CT Head Rule was prospectively derived and validated to assist clinicians with diagnostic decision-making regarding the use of computed tomography (CT) in adult patients with minor head injury. A ...

    Authors: Janet A Curran, Jamie Brehaut, Andrea M Patey, Martin Osmond, Ian Stiell and Jeremy M Grimshaw

    Citation: Implementation Science 2013 8:25

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  3. Content type: Research

    Evidence of variations in red blood cell transfusion practices have been reported in a wide range of clinical settings. Parallel studies in Canada and the United Kingdom were designed to explore transfusion be...

    Authors: Rafat Islam, Alan T Tinmouth, Jill J Francis, Jamie C Brehaut, Jennifer Born, Charlotte Stockton, Simon J Stanworth, Martin P Eccles, Brian H Cuthbertson, Chris Hyde and Jeremy M Grimshaw

    Citation: Implementation Science 2012 7:93

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  4. Content type: Research

    Prescribing errors are a major source of morbidity and mortality and represent a significant patient safety concern. Evidence suggests that trainee doctors are responsible for most prescribing errors. Understa...

    Authors: Eilidh M Duncan, Jill J Francis, Marie Johnston, Peter Davey, Simon Maxwell, Gerard A McKay, James McLay, Sarah Ross, Cristín Ryan, David J Webb and Christine Bond

    Citation: Implementation Science 2012 7:86

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  5. Content type: Research

    The Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) was developed to investigate determinants of specific clinical behaviors and inform the design of interventions to change professional behavior. This framework was used ...

    Authors: André E Bussières, Andrea M Patey, Jill J Francis, Anne E Sales and Jeremy M Grimshaw

    Citation: Implementation Science 2012 7:82

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  6. Content type: Research

    Careful hand hygiene (HH) is the single most important factor in preventing the transmission of infections to patients, but compliance is difficult to achieve and maintain. A lack of understanding of the proce...

    Authors: Veronique M Boscart, Geoff R Fernie, Jae H Lee and Susan B Jaglal

    Citation: Implementation Science 2012 7:77

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  7. Content type: Research

    The relationship between infection with high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) and cervical cancer is transforming cervical cancer prevention. HPV tests and vaccinations have recently become available. In Irelan...

    Authors: Lisa A McSherry, Stephan U Dombrowski, Jill J Francis, Judith Murphy, Cara M Martin, John J O’Leary and Linda Sharp

    Citation: Implementation Science 2012 7:73

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  8. Content type: Research

    Routine pre-operative tests for anesthesia management are often ordered by both anesthesiologists and surgeons for healthy patients undergoing low-risk surgery. The Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) was deve...

    Authors: Andrea M Patey, Rafat Islam, Jill J Francis, Gregory L Bryson and Jeremy M Grimshaw

    Citation: Implementation Science 2012 7:52

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  9. Content type: Methodology

    There is little systematic operational guidance about how best to develop complex interventions to reduce the gap between practice and evidence. This article is one in a Series of articles documenting the deve...

    Authors: Simon D French, Sally E Green, Denise A O’Connor, Joanne E McKenzie, Jill J Francis, Susan Michie, Rachelle Buchbinder, Peter Schattner, Neil Spike and Jeremy M Grimshaw

    Citation: Implementation Science 2012 7:38

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  10. Content type: Research

    Around 5,000 miscarriages and 300 perinatal deaths per year result from maternal smoking in the United Kingdom. In the northeast of England, 22% of women smoke at delivery compared to 14% nationally. Midwives ...

    Authors: Jane Beenstock, Falko F Sniehotta, Martin White, Ruth Bell, Eugene MG Milne and Vera Araujo-Soares

    Citation: Implementation Science 2012 7:36

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  11. Content type: Commentary

    Behaviour change is key to increasing the uptake of evidence into healthcare practice. Designing behaviour-change interventions first requires problem analysis, ideally informed by theory. Yet the large number...

    Authors: Jill J Francis, Denise O’Connor and Janet Curran

    Citation: Implementation Science 2012 7:35

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