Barriers and facilitators of thromboprophylaxis for medical-surgical intensive care unit patients: A multicenter survey Journal Articles uri icon

  • Overview
  • Research
  • Identity
  • Additional Document Info
  • View All


  • BACKGROUND: The objective of this study was to identify the self-reported barriers to and facilitators of prescribing low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) thromboprophylaxis in the intensive care unit (ICU). METHODS: We conducted an interviewer-administered survey of 4 individuals per ICU (the ICU director, a bedside pharmacist, a thromboprophylaxis research coordinator, and physician site investigator) regarding LMWH thromboprophylaxis for medical-surgical patients in 27 ICUs in Canada and the United States. Items were generated by the research team and adapted from previous surveys, audits, qualitative studies, and quality improvement research. Respondents rated the barriers to LMWH use, facilitators (effectiveness, affordability, and acceptability thereof), and perceptions regarding LMWH use. RESULTS: Respondents had 14.5 (SD, 7.7) years of ICU experience (response rate, 99%). The 5 most common barriers in descending order were as follows: drug acquisition cost, fear of bleeding, lack of resident education, concern about bioaccumulation in renal failure, and habit. The top 5 rated facilitators were preprinted orders, education, daily reminders, audit and feedback, and local quality improvement committee endorsement. Centers using preprinted orders (mean difference [P<.01]) and computerized physician order entry (P<.01) compared with those centers not using those tools reported higher affordability for these 2 facilitators. Compared with physicians and pharmacists, research coordinators considered ICU-specific audit and feedback of thromboprophylaxis rates to be a more effective, acceptable, and affordable facilitator (odds ratio, 6.67; 95% confidence interval, 1.97-22.53; P<.01). Facilitator acceptability ratings were similar within centers but differed across centers (P≤.01). CONCLUSIONS: This multicenter survey found several barriers to use of LMWH including cost, concern about bleeding, and lack of resident knowledge of effectiveness. The diversity of reported facilitators suggests that large scale programs may address generic barriers but also need site-specific interprofessional knowledge translation activities.


  • Cook, Deborah
  • Duffett, Mark
  • Lauzier, Francois
  • Ye, Chenglin
  • Dodek, Peter
  • Paunovic, Bojan
  • Fowler, Rob
  • Kho, Michelle
  • Foster, Denise
  • Stelfox, Tom
  • Sinuff, Taz
  • Zytaruk, Nicole
  • Clarke, France
  • Wood, Gordon
  • Cox, Michael
  • Kutsiogiannis, Jim
  • Jacka, Michael
  • Roussos, Marios
  • Kumar, Hari
  • Guyatt, Gordon

publication date

  • June 2014