Barriers and Facilitators to Implementing Cost-Effective Evidence-Based Childhood Cancer Treatment in a Resource-Limited Setting in Egypt: A Qualitative Interview Study.
Soliman R., Heneghan C., Boylan A-M., Oke J., Eweida W., Elhaddad A.
PURPOSE: Childhood cancer treatment is complex, resource-intensive, and expensive, and resource-limited settings would benefit from providing cost-effective treatment approaches on the basis of evidence. Effective implementation of cost-effective evidence-based treatment requires knowledge about factors influencing its use. In this study, we determined the clinicians' perceptions of the barriers and facilitators to implementing cost-effective evidence-based treatment for children with cancer in a resource-limited pediatric oncology setting in Egypt. METHODS: We conducted a qualitative study on the basis of semistructured interviews with senior clinicians who make high-level decisions on treatment protocols and tailored decisions for the atypically complicated group of patients. Purposive sampling was used to recruit the participants. Thematic analysis was conducted semantically to develop themes of barriers and facilitators. RESULTS: Fourteen participants agreed to participate in the study: nine pediatric oncologists; three surgeons; and two radiation oncologists. We identified four main themes of barriers and facilitators: awareness and orientation; knowledge, skills, and attitudes; system, resources, and context; and clinical practice. The main barriers included absence of easily available costs/cost-effectiveness data, limited resources and inability to pay for expensive novel (cost-effective) drugs, and gap between evidence and practice. The main facilitators included adopting standard treatment protocols on the basis of clinical effectiveness, leadership support, availability of patients' clinical and cost data from local context, and existing knowledge and skills in clinical research and health economic evaluation. The interview participants also provided suggestions to promote the implementation of cost-effective evidence-based treatment in priority areas. CONCLUSION: Our study findings provide an understanding of the barriers and facilitators affecting the implementation of cost-effective evidence-based treatment for childhood cancers in Egypt. We provide practical recommendations to address the implementation gaps with implications on practice, policy, and research.