Built to last? The sustainability of health system improvements, interventions and change strategies

a study protocol for a systematic review

Jeffrey Braithwaite, Luke Testa, Gina Lamprell, Jessica Herkes, Kristiana Ludlow, Elise McPherson, Margie Campbell, Joanna Holt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)
23 Downloads (Pure)


Introduction: The sustainability of healthcare interventions and change programmes is of increasing importance to researchers and healthcare stakeholders interested in creating sustainable health systems to cope with mounting stressors. The aim of this protocol is to extend earlier work and describe a systematic review to identify, synthesise and draw meaning from studies published within the last 5 years that measure the sustainability of interventions, improvement efforts and change strategies in the health system.

Methods and analysis: The protocol outlines a method by which to execute a rigorous systematic review. The design includes applying primary and secondary data collection techniques, consisting of a comprehensive database search complemented by contact with experts, and searching secondary databases and reference lists, using snowballing techniques. The review and analysis process will occur via an abstract review followed by a full-text screening process. The inclusion criteria include English-language, peer-reviewed, primary, empirical research articles published after 2011 in scholarly journals, for which the full text is available. No restrictions on location will be applied. The review that results from this protocol will synthesise and compare characteristics of the included studies. Ultimately, it is intended that this will help make it easier to identify and design sustainable interventions, improvement efforts and change strategies.

Ethics and dissemination: As no primary data were collected, ethical approval was not required. Results will be disseminated in conference presentations, peer-reviewed publications and among policymaker bodies interested in creating sustainable health systems.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere018568
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2017. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • complex systems
  • health systems improvement
  • interventions
  • study protocol
  • sustainability
  • systematic review

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