Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care


Department Seminar - Complexity and Implementation science


Complexity and Implementation science are not new ideas, but there is currently renewed interest in their application to healthcare problems and health service delivery.

Many things in life and primary care are complex. Despite the support of Evidence Based Medicine, Clinical Guidelines and Pathways, much of clinical practice, operates in a complex environment of blending apparently linear science and evidence with experience and negotiated interactions between patient, practitioner and health systems.

The presentation will use examples and data from individual GP patient consultations, mental health projects in New Zealand and immunisation programmes in New Zealand and Mozambique, to describe a practical model of complexity and implementation science positioned within an overarching core value of appreciative inquiry to improve clinical and health service outcomes.



Tony Dowell is Professor of Primary Health Care and General Practice at the University of Otago in Wellington, New Zealand and a GP in Wellington. He has worked in primary care in New Zealand the UK and Central Africa. His current research interests include primary mental health care, communication between patients and health providers and the application of complexity and implementation science in health care settings.