Bridging the gap: Optimising Implementation of Evidence in Children and Young People’s Mental Health

Holly Bear's Headshot

Introduction to this Emerging Minds funded project by the Lead Researcher, Dr Holly Bear, University of Oxford:


Despite efforts to increase access to services and a proliferation in the number of interventions available, outcomes for young people remain suboptimal. This can be attributed, in part, to the complex process of implementing evidence-based approaches into practice. Providers are faced with a complex array of barriers which impede the implementation and adoption of established evidence-based practice (EBP). Similarly, researchers can face challenges in progressing their findings into ‘real-world’ settings and there remains a lack of consensus on implementation measurement. 


To address this complex challenge, we will use implementation frameworks to investigate factors which optimise and hinder the implementation of research into practice in order to make recommendations across clinical, commissioning, and academic settings. In collaboration with the McPin Foundation and young co-researchers, we will use a theoretically informed survey to gather case study data on the implementation of EBP in children and young people’s mental health settings. Next, we will carry out qualitative work to gain a greater depth of understanding of stakeholders’ experiences and perspectives to better understand why implementation succeeds and fails.


We hope that this project will generate core knowledge about what facilitates and inhibits the uptake of mental health interventions in practice. From this knowledge, we will co-develop several outputs including a validated tool to measure barriers in practice which can be used in different contexts and settings and recommendations on how to develop a successful implementation strategy.

For more information about this project please contact the project lead Holly Bear by emailing