Abstract for: Application of Group Model Building in Implementation Science: A Systematic Review of the Public Health & Healthcare Literature

The use of group model building as a process for stimulating collaboration and affecting implementation is a fairly new approach in public health, but it holds significant potential for achieving important public health objectives. We conducted a systematic review of the literature to investigate how group model building has been used to foster dissemination and implementation of evidence-based interventions in public health. The electronic database search yielded 1938 unique articles for screening, of which 76 were included in the final review. Our initial qualitative analysis revealed that majority of documented public health applications of GMB were conducted in the United States (n=31) and Australia (n=9).GMB methods were most heavily utilized in the fields of nutrition (n=18), health care administration (n=14), and environmental health (n=13). The models were mostly qualitative in nature (n=46), but 20 involved quantitative or simulation modeling. Increased insight, improved communication, positive reactions to the model, improvement in understanding, and confidence in the model were outcomes that were most commonly reported post-GMB workshops. Further analysis will look more closely at the models developed and link the GMB workshop characteristics to the outcomes identified. The different strategies and public health adaptations to GMB and the gaps identified in its applications will also be discussed.