Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Access
  • Cited by 22
  • Cited by
    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Goldberg, David Thornicroft, Graham and van Ginneken, Nadja 2013. Improving Mental Health Care.

    Drake, R. E. Bajraktari, I. and Tansella, M. 2014. Technology and behavioural health: an implementation challenge. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, Vol. 23, Issue. 04, p. 313.

    Becker, Thomas and Kösters, Markus 2012. Psychosocial Interventions in People with Severe Mental Illness: A Bleulerian Perspective. Neuropsychobiology, Vol. 66, Issue. 1, p. 70.

    Thornicroft, Graham and Slade, Mike 2014. New trends in assessing the outcomes of mental health interventions. World Psychiatry, Vol. 13, Issue. 2, p. 118.

    Cooper, B. 2014. Epidemiology in a changing world: implications for population-based research on mental disorders. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, Vol. 23, Issue. 02, p. 141.

    Thornicroft, Graham and Tansella, Michele 2014. Community Mental Health Care in the Future. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Vol. 202, Issue. 6, p. 507.

    Thornicroft, Graham Deb, Tanya and Henderson, Claire 2016. Community mental health care worldwide: current status and further developments. World Psychiatry, Vol. 15, Issue. 3, p. 276.

    Hastings, Richard P. Hatton, Chris Lindsay, William R. and Taylor, John L. 2012. Psychological Therapies for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities.

    Ruggeri, Mirella Thornicroft, Graham and Goldberg, David 2013. Improving Mental Health Care.

    Thornicroft, G. and Tansella, M. 2013. The balanced care model for global mental health. Psychological Medicine, Vol. 43, Issue. 04, p. 849.

    Hastings, R. P. 2013. Running to catch up: rapid generation of evidence for interventions in learning disability services. The British Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 203, Issue. 4, p. 245.

    Henderson, Scott 2011. Translational medicine: a new creed?. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 45, Issue. 11, p. 920.

    Thornicroft, G. 2012. Evidence-based mental health care and implementation science in low- and middle-income countries. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, Vol. 21, Issue. 03, p. 241.

    Cheon, Su-Hwan Lee, Kyung-Min Kim, Mi-Kyoung Je, Young-Tae Shin, Sang-Hun Kim, Myung-Hwan Kim, Dong-Seok Park, Seong-Ho Kim, Gi-Tae Kwak, Jung-Ae Jeon, Hye-Kyoung Kwon, Jun-Young Kim, Dong-Il Kim, Byung-Soo and Park, Noh-Hyun 2013. Analysis and Application Methods of Patent Map for Performance Diffusion of Translational Research in Health Technology Research and Development. KSBB Journal, Vol. 28, Issue. 6, p. 339.

    Marco O. Bertelli, Dr Leoni, Mauro Corti, Serafino and Cavagnola, Roberto 2015. Third generation behavioural therapy for neurodevelopmental disorders: review and trajectories. Advances in Mental Health and Intellectual Disabilities, Vol. 9, Issue. 5, p. 265.

    Kling, Mitchel A. Trojanowski, John Q. Wolk, David A. Lee, Virginia M.Y. and Arnold, Steven E. 2013. Vascular disease and dementias: Paradigm shifts to drive research in new directions. Alzheimer's & Dementia, Vol. 9, Issue. 1, p. 76.

    Becker, Thomas Arnold, Katrin Gühne, Uta and Riedel-Heller, Steffi G. 2012. Psychosoziale Therapien bei schweren psychischen Erkrankungen. InFo Neurologie & Psychiatrie, Vol. 14, Issue. 12, p. 38.

    Farrelly, S. Szmukler, G. Henderson, C. Birchwood, M. Marshall, M. Waheed, W. Finnecy, C. and Thornicroft, G. 2014. Individualisation in crisis planning for people with psychotic disorders. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences, Vol. 23, Issue. 04, p. 353.

    Lea, Susan Callaghan, Lynne Eick, Susan Heslin, Margaret Morgan, John Bolt, Mark Healey, Andrew Barrett, Barbara Rose, Diana Patel, Anita and Thornicroft, Graham 2015. The management of individuals with enduring moderate to severe mental health needs: a participatory evaluation of client journeys and the interface of mental health services with the criminal justice system in Cornwall. Health Services and Delivery Research, Vol. 3, Issue. 15, p. 1.

    Cheon, Su-Hwan Jung, Sung-Chul Je, Young-Tae Kim, Gi-Tae Kim, Myung-Hwan Park, Seong-Ho Jeon, Hye-Kyoung Kwon, Jun-Young Kim, Dong-Il Kim, Dong-Seok Lee, Kyung-Min and Sun, Kyung 2012. Effective Performance Analysis of Disease-oriented Translational Research from a Point of View of Biotechnology. KSBB Journal, Vol. 27, Issue. 1, p. 1.


The place of implementation science in the translational medicine continuum

  • G. Thornicroft (a1), H. Lempp (a2) (a3) and M. Tansella (a4)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 15 February 2011

There is a growing consensus that the transfer of knowledge from biomedical discoveries into patient and public benefit should be accelerated. At the same time there is a persistent lack of conceptual clarity about the precise nature of the phases of the translational continuum necessary to implement this. In this paper, we: (i) propose an integrated schema to understand the five sequential phases that link basic biomedical research with clinical science and implementation; (ii) discuss the nature of three blocks along this translational pathway; (iii) outline key issues that need to be addressed in removing such barriers. The five research phases described are: (0) basic science discovery; (1) early human studies; (2) early clinical trials; (3) late clinical trials; (4) implementation (which includes adoption in principle, early implementation and persistence of implementation). This schema also sets out three points at which communication blocks can occur. The application of ‘implementation science’ is in its early stages within mental health and psychiatric research. This paper therefore aims to develop a consistent terminology to understand the discovery, development, dissemination and implementation of new interventions. By better understanding the factors that promote or delay knowledge to flow across these blocks, we can accelerate progression along translational medicine pathways and so realize earlier patient benefit.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      The place of implementation science in the translational medicine continuum
      Your Kindle email address
      Available formats
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      The place of implementation science in the translational medicine continuum
      Available formats
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      The place of implementation science in the translational medicine continuum
      Available formats
Corresponding author
*Address for correspondence: Professor G. Thornicroft, Health Service and Population Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK. (Email:
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

NC Campbell , E Murray , J Darbyshire , J Emery , A Farmer , F Griffiths , B Guthrie , H Lester , P Wilson , AL Kinmonth (2007). Designing and evaluating complex interventions to improve health care. British Medical Journal 334, 455459.

WF Crowley Jr., L Sherwood , P Salber , D Scheinberg , H Slavkin , H Tilson , EA Reece , V Catanese , SB Johnson , A Dobs , M Genel , A Korn , N Reame , R Bonow , J Grebb , D Rimoin (2004). Clinical research in the United States at a crossroads: proposal for a novel public-private partnership to establish a national clinical research enterprise. Journal of the American Medical Association 291, 11201126.

MP Eccles , D Armstrong , R Baker , K Cleary , H Davies , S Davies , P Glasziou , I Ilott , AL Kinmonth , G Leng , S Logan , T Marteau , S Michie , H Rogers , J Rycroft-Malone , B Sibbald (2009). An implementation research agenda. Implementation Science 4, 18.

B Gardner , C Whittington , J McAteer , MP Eccles , S Michie (2010). Using theory to synthesise evidence from behaviour change interventions: the example of audit and feedback. Social Science and Medicine 70, 16181625.

JP Lane , JL Flagg (2010). Translating three states of knowledge – discovery, invention, and innovation. Implementation Science 5, 9.

BH Littman , ML Di , M Plebani , FM Marincola (2007). What's next in translational medicine? Clinical Science (London) 112, 217227.

T Madon , KJ Hofman , L Kupfer , RI Glass (2007). Public health. Implementation science. Science 318, 17281729.

SP Mankoff , C Brander , S Ferrone , FM Marincola (2004). Lost in translation: obstacles to translational medicine. Journal of Translational Medicine 2, 14.

FM Marincola (2003). Translational medicine: a two-way road. Journal of Translational Medicine 1, 1.

S Michie , J Berentson-Shaw , S Pilling , G Feder , P Dieppe , R Raine , F Cluzeau , P Alderson , S Ellis (2007 a). Turning evidence into recommendations: protocol of a study guideline development groups. Implementation Science 2, 29.

S Michie , S Pilling , P Garety , P Whitty , MP Eccles , M Johnston , J Simmons (2007 b). Difficulties implementing a mental health guideline: an exploratory investigation using psychological theory. Implementation Science 2, 8.

S Michie , TL Webb , FF Sniehotta (2010). The importance of making explicit links between theoretical constructs and behaviour change techniques. Addiction 105, 18971898.

MB Perkins , PS Jensen , J Jaccard , P Gollwitzer , G Oettingen , E Pappadopulos , KE Hoagwood (2007). Applying theory-driven approaches to understanding and modifying clinicians' behavior: what do we know? Psychiatric Services 58, 342348.

BA Rabin , RC Brownson , D Haire-Joshu , MW Kreuter , NL Weaver (2008). A glossary for dissemination and implementation research in health. Journal of Public Health Management Practice 14, 117123.

K Soderquest , GM Lord (2010). Strategies for translational research in the United Kingdom. Science of Translation Medicine 2, 53cm28.

NS Sung , Jr. WF Crowley , M Genel , P Salber , L Sandy , LM Sherwood , SB Johnson , V Catanese , H Tilson , K Getz , EL Larson , D Scheinberg , EA Reece , H Slavkin , A Dobs , J Grebb , RA Martinez , A Korn , D Rimoin (2003). Central challenges facing the national clinical research enterprise. Journal of the American Medical Association 289, 12781287.

M Tansella , G Thornicroft (2009). Implementation science: understanding the translation of evidence into practice. British Journal of Psychiatry 195, 283285.

TL Webb , FF Sniehotta , S Michie (2010). Using theories of behaviour change to inform interventions for addictive behaviours. Addiction 105, 18791892.

JM Westfall , J Mold , L Fagnan (2007). Practice-based research – ‘Blue Highways’ on the NIH roadmap. Journal of the American Medical Association 297, 403406.

E Zerhouni (2003). Medicine. The NIH roadmap. Science 302, 6372.

EA Zerhouni (2005). US biomedical research: basic, translational, and clinical sciences. Journal of the American Medical Association 294, 13521358.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Psychological Medicine
  • ISSN: 0033-2917
  • EISSN: 1469-8978
  • URL: /core/journals/psychological-medicine
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *