Barriers and facilitators of implementing interventions to improve appropriate antibiotic use in low- and middle-income countries: a systematic review based on the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research

Shishi Wu, Elias Tannous, Victoria Haldane, Moriah E Ellen, Xiaolin Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Behavior change interventions that aim to improve rational antibiotic use in prescribers and users have been widely conducted in both high- and LMICs. However, currently, no review has systematically examined challenges unique to LMICs and offered insights into the underlying contextual factors that influence these interventions. We adopted an implementation research perspective to systematically synthesize the implementation barriers and facilitators in LMICs.

METHODS: We conducted literature searches in five electronic databases and identified studies that involved the implementation of behavior change interventions to improve appropriate antibiotic use in prescribers and users in LMICs and reported implementation barriers and facilitators. Behavior change interventions were defined using the behavior change wheel, and the coding and synthesis of barriers and facilitators were guided by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR).

RESULTS: We identified 52 eligible studies, with the majority targeting prescribers practicing at tertiary facilities (N=39, 75%). The most commonly reported factors influencing implementation were found in the inner setting domain of the CFIR framework, particularly related to constraints in resources and the infrastructure of the facilities where interventions were implemented. Barriers related to the external policy environment (e.g., lack of national initiatives and policies on antibiotic use), and individual characteristics of target populations (e.g., reluctance to change prescribing behaviors) were also common, as well as facilitators related to intervention characteristics (e.g., embedding interventions in routine practice) and process (e.g., stakeholder engagement). We also provided insights into the interrelationships between these factors and the underlying causes contributing to the implementation challenges in LMICs.

CONCLUSION: We presented a comprehensive overview of the barriers and facilitators of implementing behavior change interventions to promote rational antibiotic use in LMICs. Our findings suggest that facilitating the implementation of interventions to improve rational antibiotic use needs comprehensive efforts to address challenges at policy, organizational, and implementation levels. Specific strategies include (1) strengthening political commitment to prompt mobilization of domestic resources and formulation of a sustainable national strategy on AMR, (2) improving the infrastructure of health facilities that allow prescribers to make evidence-based clinical decisions, and (3) engaging local stakeholders to improve their buy-in and facilitate contextualizing interventions.

TRIAL REGISTRATION: PROSPERO: CRD42021252715 .

Original languageEnglish
Article number30
JournalImplementation Science
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 12 May 2022

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