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DOI: 10.1186/s43058-021-00188-9; PMCID: PMC8359118


BACKGROUND: At-birth and point-of-care (POC) testing can expedite early infant diagnosis of HIV and improve infant outcomes. Guided by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR), this study describes the implementation of an at-birth POC testing pilot from the perspective of implementing providers and identifies the factors that might support and hinder the scale up of these promising interventions.

METHODS: We conducted 28 focus group discussions (FGDs) with 48 providers across 4 study sites throughout the course of a pilot study assessing the feasibility and impact of at-birth POC testing. FGDs were audio-recorded, transcribed, and analyzed for a priori themes related to CFIR constructs. This qualitative study was nested within a larger study to pilot and evaluate at-birth and POC HIV testing.

RESULTS: Out of the 39 CFIR constructs, 30 were addressed in the FGDs. While all five domains were represented, major themes revolved around constructs related to intervention characteristics, inner setting, and outer setting. Regarding intervention characteristics, the advantages of at-birth POC (rapid turnaround time resulting in improved patient management and enhanced patient motivation) were significant enough to encourage provider uptake and enthusiasm. Challenges at the intervention level (machine breakdown, processing errors), inner settings (workload, limited leadership engagement, challenges with access to information), and outer setting (patient-level challenges, limited engagement with outer setting stakeholders) hindered implementation, frustrated providers, and resulted in missed opportunities for testing. Providers discussed how throughout the course of the study adaptations to implementation (improved channels of communication, modified implementation logistics) were made to overcome some of these challenges. To improve implementation, providers cited the need for enhanced training and for greater involvement among stakeholders outside of the implementing team (i.e., other clinicians, hospital administrators and implementing partners, county and national health officials). Despite provider enthusiasm for the intervention, providers felt that the lack of engagement from leadership within the hospital and in the outer setting would preclude sustained implementation outside of a research setting.

CONCLUSION: Despite demonstrated feasibility and enthusiasm among implementing providers, the lack of outer setting support makes sustained implementation of at-birth POC testing unlikely at this time. The findings highlight the multi-dimensional aspect of implementation and the need to consider facilitators and barriers within each of the five CFIR domains.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:, NCT03435887 . Retrospectively registered on 19 February 2020.

Journal Title

Implement Sci Commun





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Birth testing; Consolidated Framework for Implementation Science (CFIR); Early infant diagnosis; HIV; Kenya; Pediatric HIV; Point-of-care; Qualitative


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