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The views of health care professionals about selective decontamination of the digestive tract: An international, theoretically informed interview study

Duncan, E. M., Cuthbertson, B. H., Prior, M. E. , Marshall, A. P., Wells, E. C., Todd, L., Bolsover, D., Newlands, R. S., Webster, F., Rose, L., Campbell, M. K., Bellingan, G., Seppelt, I. & Francis, J. (2014). The views of health care professionals about selective decontamination of the digestive tract: An international, theoretically informed interview study. Journal of Critical Care, 29(4), pp. 634-640. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrc.2014.03.013


Purpose: Selective Decontamination of the Digestive tract (SDD) as a prophylactic intervention improves hospital-acquired infection and survival rates. Uptake of SDD is low and remains controversial. This study applied the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) to assess ICU clinicians’ views about SDD in regions with limited or no adoption of SDD.

Materials and Methods: Participants were health professionals with ‘decisional authority’ for the adoption of SDD. Semistructured interviews were conducted as the first round of a Delphi study. Views about SDDadoption, delivery and further SDD research were explored. Directed content analysis of interview data identified sub-themes which informed item development for subsequent Delphi rounds. Linguistic features of interview data were also explored.

Results: 141 participants provided interview data. Fifty-six sub-themes were identified; 46 were common across regions. Beliefs about consequences was the most widely elaborated theme. Linguistic features of how participants discussed SDD included caution expressed when discussing the risks and benefits and words such as worry, anxiety and fear when discussing potential antibiotic resistance associated with SDD.

Conclusions: We identified salient beliefs, barriers and facilitators to SDD adoption and delivery. What participants said about SDD and the way in which they said it demonstrated the degree of clinical caution, uncertainty and concern that SDD evokes.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in <Journal title>. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Critical Care, Volume 29, Issue 4, August 2014, Pages 634–640,
Publisher Keywords: Antibiotic prophylaxis, Theoretical domains framework, Intensive care unit, Qualitative research
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Healthcare Services Research & Management
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