Surgical antibiotic prophylaxis in children: a mixed method study on healthcare professionals attitudes

Angela Giusti, Stefania Spila-Alegiani, Marta Luisa Ciofi Degli Atti, Sofia Colaceci, Roberto Raschetti, Pasquale Arace, Raffaele Spiazzi, Massimiliano Raponi, Apache Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Qualitative and quantitative research investigating determinants of adherence to clinical guidelines (GLs) on surgical antibiotic prophylaxis (SAP) are scarce. We conducted a mixed-method study aimed at investigating barriers and at describing attitudes of healthcare professionals (HCPs) regarding SAP in three Italian children's hospitals.

METHODS: The study comprised two sequential phases: 1) collection of qualitative data through focus groups; 2) conduction of a survey on HCPs attitudes towards SAP. Focus groups were carried out in each hospital with a theoretical convenience sample of 10-15 HCPs. Categorical analysis was conducted. Emerging categories and additional topics derived by literature search were used to develop the survey questionnaire, which included 13 questions expressed through a 4-point Likert scale. Members of surgical teams were invited by e-mail to fill in the questionnaire. We summed up the points assigned to each 4-point Likert scale response and calculated a cumulative score expressing overall concordance to expected HCPs attitudes on SAP. We conducted univariate and multivariate analysis to evaluate the relationship among characteristics of respondents and concordance with expected attitudes.

RESULTS: The main categories identified in the qualitative phase included determinants of general adherence to GLs (e.g., relevance of clinical judgment), individual determinants (e.g., poor knowledge on hospital data) and organizational/structural determinants (e.g., patient flows). A total of 357 HCPs participated in the survey (response rate: 82.1%). Among respondents, 75% reported that SAP should be performed with first or second-generation cephalosporins, 44% that 2-3 days of antibiotic administration are useful as a precaution after surgery, 32% that SAP is needed for all surgical procedures. At multivariate analysis, professional category (physicians vs nurses; OR: 3.31; 95%CI: 1.88-5.82), and hospital (hospital 1 and 2 vs hospital 3; ORs: 2.79, 95%CI: 1.22-6.36; 2.40, 95%CI: 1.30-4.43, respectively) were significantly and independently associated with higher concordance with expected attitudes on SAP.

CONCLUSIONS: Results from this study were useful to identify obstacles to appropriate SAP use in children. In our setting, findings support that a quality-improvement intervention should take into account local contexts, with development of hospital policies, education on SAP recommendations, and dissemination of data on adherence to recommendations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203
JournalBMC Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 5 2016


  • Journal Article


Dive into the research topics of 'Surgical antibiotic prophylaxis in children: a mixed method study on healthcare professionals attitudes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this