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Barriers and enablers to the implementation of perioperative hypothermia prevention practices from the perspectives of the multidisciplinary team: a qualitative study using the Theoretical Domains Framework

Authors Munday J, Delaforce A, Forbes G, Keogh S

Received 22 March 2019

Accepted for publication 5 April 2019

Published 29 May 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 395—417


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser

Judy Munday,1,2 Alana Delaforce,1,3 Gillian Forbes,4 Samantha Keogh1

1School of Nursing and Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, QLD 4059, Australia; 2Department of Health and Nursing Science, University of Agder, Grimstad, Norway; 3Clinical Governance Unit, Mater Health, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia; 4Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, UCL Centre for Behaviour Change, London WC1E 6BT, UK

Purpose: Inadvertent perioperative hypothermia is a significant problem for surgical patients globally, and is associated with many detrimental side-effects. Despite the availability of rigorously developed international evidence-based guidelines for prevention, a high incidence of this complication persists. This qualitative study aims to identify and examine the domains which act as barriers and enablers to perioperative hypothermia prevention practices, from the perspectives of the key healthcare professionals involved with perioperative temperature management.
Methods: A qualitative study employing semi-structured interviews was utilized. A purposive sample of key stakeholders involved in perioperative temperature management, including perioperative nurses, anesthetists, surgeons, and perioperative managers, were recruited via email. The interview guide was developed in reference to the Theoretical Domains Framework. All interviews were recorded, de-identified, transcribed, and coded. Belief statements were generated within each domain, and a frequency score generated for each belief. Finally, the domains were mapped to the COM-B model of the Behavior Change Wheel to develop recommendations for future interventions.
Results: Twelve participants were included including eight nurses, two surgeons, and two anesthetists. Eleven key theoretical domains that influence the uptake of perioperative hypothermia practices were identified: knowledge; skills; social/professional role and identity; beliefs about capabilities; optimism; beliefs about consequences; reinforcement; goals; memory, attention, and decision processes; environmental context and resources; social influence. Suggested intervention strategies include training, reminder systems, audit, and feedback, organizational support to resolve lack of control of ambient temperature, as well as provision of accurate temperature measurement devices.
Conclusion: Future interventions to address the key behavioral domains and improve perioperative hypothermia prevention need to be evaluated in the context of feasibility, effectiveness, safety, acceptability, and cost by the target users. All suggested intervention strategies need to take a team-based, multi-modal approach, as this is most likely to facilitate improvements in perioperative hypothermia prevention.

Keywords: perioperative hypothermia, temperature management, Theoretical Domains Framework, multidisciplinary, COM-B, behaviour change wheel

Creative Commons License This work is published by Dove Medical Press Limited, and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. The full terms of the License are available at The license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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