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UK Center for Health Services Research earns grant for study

A female doctor talks with a male patient.
News Blog

/ by UK HealthCare

Dr. Jing Li, associate director of the UK Center for Health Services Research, has received a $1 million grant award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) for a study which aims to address difficulties and inefficiencies in the diagnosis and approach to syncope, a temporary loss of consciousness.

This award is one of the first for the UK College of Medicine in the expanding field of implementation science, which is the study of methods to promote the integration of research findings and evidence into clinical practice. The goal of implementation science research is to understand healthcare professionals’ behavior related to the uptake, adoption and implementation of evidence-based interventions.


“Project MISSION: Developing a multicomponent Multilevel Implementation Strategy for Syncope optimal care thrOugh eNgagement” is a two-year project beginning in August 2018 and includes a multidisciplinary team of physician scientists, health services researchers and an informaticist.

In addition to Li, the project team includes Drs. Vikas Bhalla, Romil Chadha, Vedant Gupta, Susan Smyth, Seth Stearley, Hilary Surratt, Mark Williams and GQ Zhang.

The study will identify barriers and facilitators for implementation of an evidence-based, high-value approach to diagnosis and management of patients who experience syncope.


Prevalence rates of syncope have been reported as high as 41 percent of all people, with recurrent syncope occurring in 13.5 percent. Experiencing syncope affects patients’ quality of life, and those with more frequent syncope report poorer quality of life, such as perceptions of low overall physical and mental health and impairment in daily activities.

The major challenge in evaluating patients with syncope is that most patients are asymptomatic when they have a fainting spell. Because of concerns that patients experiencing syncope are at risk for an impending catastrophic event, overuse and inappropriate use of testing and hospital admission are common.

Next steps: