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Intensivists’ beliefs about rapid multiplex molecular diagnostic testing and its potential role in improving prescribing decisions and antimicrobial stewardship: a qualitative study

Pandolfo, Alyssa M., Horne, Robert, Jani, Yogini, Reader, Tom W., Bidad, Natalie, Brealey, David, Enne, Virve I., Livermore, David M., Gant, Vanya, Brett, Stephen J., Barber, Julie, Shallcross, Laura, Cuesta, Jeronimo, Peters, Mark, Klein, Nigel, Moondi, Parvez, O’grady, Justin, High, Juliet, Russell, Charlotte, Swart, Ann Marie, Turner, David and Singh, Suveer (2021) Intensivists’ beliefs about rapid multiplex molecular diagnostic testing and its potential role in improving prescribing decisions and antimicrobial stewardship: a qualitative study. Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control, 10 (1). ISSN 2047-2994

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Identification Number: 10.1186/s13756-021-00961-4


Background Rapid molecular diagnostic tests to investigate the microbial aetiology of pneumonias may improve treatment and antimicrobial stewardship in intensive care units (ICUs). Clinicians’ endorsement and uptake of these tests is crucial to maximise engagement; however, adoption may be impeded if users harbour unaddressed concerns or if device usage is incompatible with local practice. Accordingly, we strove to identify ICU clinicians’ beliefs about molecular diagnostic tests for pneumonias before implementation at the point-of-care. Methods We conducted semi-structured interviews with 35 critical care doctors working in four ICUs in the United Kingdom. A clinical vignette depicting a fictitious patient with signs of pneumonia was used to explore clinicians’ beliefs about the importance of molecular diagnostics and their concerns. Data were analysed thematically. Results Clinicians’ beliefs about molecular tests could be grouped into two categories: perceived potential of molecular diagnostics to improve antibiotic prescribing (Molecular Diagnostic Necessity) and concerns about how the test results could be implemented into practice (Molecular Diagnostic Concerns). Molecular Diagnostic Necessity stemmed from beliefs that positive results would facilitate targeted antimicrobial therapy; that negative results would signal the absence of a pathogen, and consequently that having the molecular diagnostic results would bolster clinicians’ prescribing confidence. Molecular Diagnostic Concerns included unfamiliarity with the device’s capabilities, worry that it would detect non-pathogenic bacteria, uncertainty whether it would fail to detect pathogens, and discomfort with withholding antibiotics until receiving molecular test results. Conclusions Clinicians believed rapid molecular diagnostics for pneumonias were potentially important and were open to using them; however, they harboured concerns about the tests’ capabilities and integration into clinical practice. Implementation strategies should bolster users’ necessity beliefs while reducing their concerns; this can be accomplished by publicising the tests’ purpose and benefits, identifying and addressing clinicians’ misconceptions, establishing a trial period for first-hand familiarisation, and emphasising that, with a swift (e.g., 60–90 min) test, antibiotics can be started and refined after molecular diagnostic results become available.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2021 09:42
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2024 04:03

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