Springer Nature

Barriers to symptom management care pathway implementation in pediatric Cancer

Posted on 2021-10-10 - 03:14
Abstract Background Objectives were to describe barriers to pediatric cancer symptom management care pathway implementation and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on clinical research evaluating their implementation. Methods We included 25 pediatric oncology hospitals in the United States that supported a grant submission to perform a cluster randomized trial in which the intervention encompassed care pathways for symptom management. A survey was distributed to site principal investigators prior to randomization to measure contextual elements related to care pathway implementation. Questions included the inner setting measures of the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR), study-specific potential barriers and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on clinical research. The Wilcoxon rank sum test was used to compare characteristics of institutions that agreed that their department supported the implementation of symptom management care pathways vs. institutions that did not agree. Results Of the 25 sites, one withdrew because of resource constraints and one did not respond, leaving 23 institutions. Among the seven CFIR constructs, the least supported was implementation climate; 57% agreed there was support, 39% agreed there was recognition and 39% agreed there was prioritization for symptom management care pathway implementation at their institution. Most common barriers were lack of person-time to create care pathways and champion their use (35%), lack of interest from physicians (30%) and lack of information technology resources (26%). Most sites reported no negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic across research activities. Sites with fewer pediatric cancer patients were more likely to agree that staff are supported to implement symptom management care pathways (P = 0.003). Conclusions The most commonly reported barriers to implementation were lack of support, recognition and prioritization. The COVID-19 pandemic may not be a major barrier to clinical research activities in pediatric oncology.


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