Emanuela Nyantakyi is a PhD Candidate at the Institute for Implementation Science in Health Care, University of Zurich. Her research integrates systems thinking approaches into implementation science research and is primarily focused on the European Union Horizon 2020 project NeoIPC (Neonatal Infection Prevention and Control). She holds a Bachelor of Science in Health Science from the Technological University of Munich and a Master of Science in Health Sciences with a concentration in Health Policy from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
The EU Horizon 2020 project NeoIPC aims to identify effective infection prevention and control interventions and corresponding implementation strategies for neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). In preparation of the trial, an implementation needs assessment survey with participating units in several European countries and South Africa was conducted. In the meantime, concerns among health professionals regarding the safety of the planned intervention and study design became apparent. A rapid qualitative approach was chosen to better understand these concerns and inform ongoing trial preparation.
The survey was disseminated online to 22 participating NICUs and collected information regarding barriers and facilitators to the planned intervention based on scenarios with open response options. Two virtual focus groups (FGs) à 90 minutes were held. The FGs were centered around the relevance, efficacy, and safety of the planned intervention and potential concerns regarding the conduct of cluster randomized controlled trials (cRCTs) in NICUs. To quickly integrate the results into the project, data collection and analysis in both assessments were guided by a rapid qualitative approach using the CFIR framework based on Nevadal et al. .
Thirteen NICUs responded to the survey. The FGs were attended by nine pediatricians and neonatologists from six European countries. In both assessments, the evidence base for the planned intervention and aspects of its compatibility with routine practice were deemed primary barriers. Stakeholder engagement strategies were named as potential facilitators to implementation. Including nurses to determine feasibility (i.e., practice fit) of interventions was suggested in the FGs. No concerns regarding the conduct of cRCTs were raised.
In our study, a pragmatic qualitative approach of rapid data assessment and analysis provided valuable information to implementation design and project development. However, the homogeneity in our focus group participants showed a limited insight into routine care practice, which should be complemented by further assessments.
 Nevedal A, Reardon CM, Opra Widerquist MA et al. Rapid versus traditional qualitative analysis using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR). Implementation Sci. 2021; 16 (67). doi: 10.1186/s13012-021-01111-5