Aim: To explore clinician-perceived barriers to and facilitators for the provision of actionable processes of care important for patients with persistent or chronic critical illness. Design: Qualitative descriptive interview study. Methods: Secondary analysis of semi-structured telephone interviews (December 2018 – February 2019) with professionally diverse clinicians working with adults experiencing persistent or chronic critical illness in Canadian intensive care units. We used deductive content analysis informed by the Social-Ecological Model. Results: We recruited 31 participants from intensive care units across nine Canadian provinces. Reported intrapersonal level barriers to the provision of actionable processes of care included lack of training, negative emotions and challenges prioritizing these patients. Facilitators included establishment of positive relations and trust with patients and family. Interpersonal barriers included communication difficulties, limited access to physicians and conflict. Facilitators included communication support, time spent with the patient/family and conflict management. Institutional barriers comprised inappropriate care processes, inadequate resources and disruptive environmental conditions. Facilitators were regular team rounds, appropriate staffing and employment of a primary care (nurse and/or physician) model. Community-level barriers included inappropriate care location and insufficient transition support. Facilitators were accessed to alternate care sites/teams and to formalized transition support. Public policy-level barriers included inadequacy of formal education programs for the care of these patients; knowledge implementation for patient management was identified as a facilitator. Conclusion: Our results highlighted multilevel barriers and facilitators to the delivery of actionable processes important for quality care for patient/family experiencing persistent or chronic critical illness. Impact: Using the Social-Ecological Model, the results of this study provide intra and interpersonal, institutional, community and policy-level barriers to address and facilitators to harness to improve the care of patients/family experiencing persistent or chronic critical illness. Reporting Method: Consolidated criteria for reporting qualitative studies. Patient or Public Contribution: No patient or public contribution.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Early online date30 Oct 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Oct 2023


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