Changing the focus using implementation science: A new frontier for burn scar management and research

Dr Zephanie Tyack1

1Queensland University Of Technology, Kelvin Grove, Australia


Introduction: Burn scar research and management is often complex in practice. This complexity can be difficult to capture using traditional research methods including randomised controlled trials. Factors including behaviour, motivation, prioritisation and the ability to normalise new practices in routines can impact on how and whether evidence is actually implemented in clinical practice. This issue is not isolated to burn scar research and management with average lag times of greater than 10 years for evidence to be adopted in practice and little change in the time it takes evidence to be adopted in practice over the last 20 years. Implementation science, the systematic study of methods to get evidence into practice, offers a new way forward.

Methods: This presentation will briefly outline what implementation science is, the methods that can be applied in clinical practice and research, and resources that are available to clinicians and researchers new to this field. Examples will be presented from the authors ongoing implementation science research investigating the use of patient-reported outcome measure data in scar management consultations, trauma-informed burn care, and patient engagement with scar treatments.

Discussion: The promise of implementation science includes new ways of understanding the mechanisms behind how scar interventions work, identifying factors that influence the success of scar interventions, and identifying new strategies to address engagement with treatment. The focus of research and practice needs to change to overcome barriers to implementing evidence early or to build on ways of doing things that already work well.


Zephanie is a Senior Research Fellow and Implementation Scientist at the Australian Centre for Health Service Innovation (AusHSI) at Queensland University of Technology where she leads a team of four implementation scientists. She joined this team in 2020 after being at The University of Queensland since 2015 where she is an Honorary Senior Fellow. She has been an active member of ANZBA for many years.

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