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Table 1 Definitions and conceptualizations of sustainability

From: Examining sustainability in a hospital setting: Case of smoking cessation

First Author Year Definition/Conceptualization Paper Details
Bracht [14] 1994 -sustainability is conceptualized as incorporation--'the maintenance
of specific intervention program types over time, after external funding resources' (p.246)
-measured long-term program maintenance through annual surveys to assess the level of incorporation (e.g., who is operating program, program modifications) of 27 Heart Health intervention programs
Shediac-Rizkallah [16] 1998 -sustainability is likely a matter of degree rather than an 'all or none' phenomenon
- definition must specify what is to be sustained, how or by whom, how much and by when
-presented an organizing framework for conceptualizing and measuring sustainability
O'Loughlin [17] 1998 -permanence: 'At this point in time, how permanent do you think the (intervention) is at (provider)?' (p.704) -investigated factors related to the perceived sustainability of heart health promotion interventions
Greenhalgh [18] 2004 -'making an innovation routine until it reaches obsolescence.' (p.582) -summarized an extensive literature review about sustaining innovations in health service delivery
Pluye [19] 2004 -sustainability is a parallel process that occurs at the same time as implementation
- events can be specific to sustainability, specific to implementation, or belong to both sustainability and implementation
-reviewed empirical studies on program sustainability
Scheirer [15] 2005 -three definitions for sustainability: continued program activities; continued program benefits; maintained community capacity -review of 19 empirical studies on sustainability of health-related programs in Canada and US
LaPelle [20] 2006 -defined levels of program sustainability (i.e., none, low, moderate, and high) based on the extent to which community-based tobacco treatment services were able to continue after program funding was terminated. -used qualitative analysis of state and community level programs to investigate factors contributing to sustainability of services after defunding
Gruen [21] 2008 - the simplest definition of sustainability is the 'capability of being maintained at a certain rate or level' (p.1580). -systematically reviewed conceptual frameworks and empirical studies about health program sustainability