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Barriers and facilitators to guideline-recommended care of benign paroxysmal positional vertigo in the ED: a qualitative study using the theoretical domains framework.

BACKGROUND: Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is a common presentation to the ED. Evidence suggests low adherence to guideline-recommended care, but the reasons underlying this are poorly understood. This study used the theoretical domains framework (TDF) to explore the barriers and facilitators to medical and physiotherapy clinical practices in the management of BPPV in an Australian metropolitan ED.

METHODS: From May to December 2021, semistructured interviews were conducted with 13 medical staff and 13 physiotherapists who worked at an ED in Melbourne, Australia. Interviews used the TDF to explore the perceived barriers and facilitators to the delivery of guideline-recommended assessment and treatment techniques for BPPV. Data were analysed thematically to identify relevant domains and generate themes and belief statements.

RESULTS: Fifteen belief statements representing eight domains of the TDF were identified as key factors in the management of BPPV in the ED. The most prominent domains were knowledge and skills due to their conflicting belief statements between professions concerning education, skill development and self-confidence; memory, attention and decision processes for the perceived complexity of the presentation including difficulty recalling diagnostic and treatment techniques; and environmental context and resources for their shared belief statements concerning time and workload pressures. The availability of vestibular physiotherapy was considered both a barrier and facilitator to the delivery of recommended care by medical staff, but a barrier to independent practice as it unintentionally limited the opportunities for skill development in medical staff.

CONCLUSION: Several modifiable barriers and facilitators to the management of BPPV in the ED have been identified. Differences were observed between the professional groups, and these findings will guide a future intervention to improve the use of guideline-recommended assessment and treatment techniques for BPPV in ED.

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