Exploration, Preparation, Implementation, Sustainment (EPIS) model (Conceptual Model of Evidence-based Practice Implementation in Public Service Sectors)

Exploration, Preparation, Implementation, Sustainment (EPIS) model (Conceptual Model of Evidence-based Practice Implementation in Public Service Sectors)

D and/or I:
The focus on dissemination and/or implementation activities. D-only focuses on an active approach of spreading evidence-based interventions to target audience via determined channels using planned strategies. D=I, D>I, and I>D means there is some focus on both dissemination and implementation. I-only focuses on process of putting to use or integrating evidence-based interventions within a setting.


Socio-Ecological Levels:
The level of the framework at which the model operates. Individual includes personal characteristics; Organization includes hospitals, service organizations, and factories; Community includes local government and neighborhoods; System includes hospital systems and government; Policy includes changes in policy.


Number of Times Cited:
The # of times the original publication for the model was cited as indicated by Google Scholar since 2016.



Field of Origin:
The field of study in which the model originated.

Public sector services

Whether the model is for the use of practitioners and/or researchers.


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The original publication(s) of the model.

Aarons GA, Hurlburt M, Horwitz SM. Advancing a conceptual model of evidence-based practice implementation in public service sectors. Admin Policy Mental Health 2011;38(1):4–23. Moullin JC, Dickson KS, Stadnick NA, Rabin B, Aarons GA. Systematic review of the Exploration, Preparation, Implementation, Sustainment (EPIS) framework. Implement Sci. 2019 Jan 5;14(1):1.

Citations of studies that have used the model as an outline for their study.

Aarons GA, Fettes DL, Sommerfeld DH, Palinkas LA: Mixed methods for implementation research: Application to evidence-based practice implementation and staff turnover in community-based organizations providing child welfare services. Child Maltreatment 2012, 17:67-79.

Aarons GA, Green AE, Trott E, Willging C, Torres EM, Ehrhart M, Roesch SC. The roles of system and organizational leadership in system-wide evidence-based intervention sustainment: A mixed-method study. Adm Policy Ment Hlth 2016, 43:991-1008.

Brookman-Frazee L, Chlebowski C, Suhrheinrich J, et al. Characterizing Shared and Unique Implementation Influences in Two Community Services Systems for Autism: Applying the EPIS Framework to Two Large-Scale Autism Intervention Community Effectiveness Trials. Adm Policy Ment Health. 2020;47(2):176-187. doi:10.1007/s10488-019-00931-4

Idalski Carcone A, Coyle K, Gurung S, et al. Implementation Science Research Examining the Integration of Evidence-Based Practices Into HIV Prevention and Clinical Care: Protocol for a Mixed-Methods Study Using the Exploration, Preparation, Implementation, and Sustainment (EPIS) Model. JMIR Res Protoc. 2019;8(5):e11202. Published 2019 May 23. doi:10.2196/11202

Stadnick NA, Meza RD, Suhrheinrich J, et al. Leadership profiles associated with the implementation of behavioral health evidence-based practices for autism spectrum disorder in schools. Autism. 2019;23(8):1957-1968. doi:10.1177/1362361319834398

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