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Table 1 Attributes of an innovation that may determine its uptake

From: Developing an educational intervention on dementia diagnosis and management in primary care for the EVIDEM-ED trial

Compatibility: Innovations that are compatible with the values, norms and perceived needs of intended adopters will be more easily adopted and implemented.
Complexity/ease of use: Innovations that are perceived by key players as simple to use will be more easily adopted and implemented. The perceived complexity of an innovation can be reduced by practical experience and demonstration. (The degree to which the innovation is expected to be free of effort.)
Relative advantage: Innovations that have a clear, unambiguous advantage in terms of either effectiveness or cost-effectiveness will be more easily adopted and implemented. This advantage must be recognized and acknowledged by all key players. If a potential user sees no relative advantage in the innovation he or she does not generally consider it further: in other words, relative advantage is a sine qua non for adoption. Relative advantage is a socially constructed phenomenon: in other words, even so-called evidence-based innovations go through a lengthy period of negotiation amongst potential adopters, in which their meaning is discussed, contested and reframed; such discourse can either increase or decrease the perceived relative advantage of the innovation.
Trialability: Innovations that can be experimented with by intended users on a limited basis will be more easily adopted and implemented. Such experimentation can be supported and encouraged through provision of ‘trialability space’.
Observability/result demonstrability: If the benefits of an innovation are visible to intended adopters, it will be more easily adopted and implemented. Initiatives to make the benefits of an innovation more visible (for example, through demonstrations) increase the chances of successful adoption.
Reinvention: If a potential adopter can adapt, refine or otherwise modify the innovation to suit his or her needs, it will be more easily adopted and implemented. Reinvention is a particularly critical attribute for innovations that arise spontaneously as ‘good ideas in practice’ and which spread primarily through informal, decentralised, horizontal social networks.
Image: An innovation is more likely to be taken up if it is seen as adding to the user's social approval.
Visibility: The degree to which the innovation is seen to be used by others will affect its uptake.
Voluntariness: The degree to which use of the innovation is controlled by the potential user's free will affects the uptake of the innovation.