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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Selective decontamination of the digestive tract in critically ill patients treated in intensive care units: a mixed-methods feasibility study (the SuDDICU study)
Authors: Francis, Jill J
Duncan, Eilidh M
Prior, Maria E
MacLennan, Graeme
Dombrowski, Stephan U
Bellingan, Geoff
Campbell, Marion K
Eccles, Martin P
Rose, Louise
Rowan, Kathryn M
Shulman, Rob
Wilson, A Peter R
Cuthbertson, Brian H
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Issue Date: Apr-2014
Publisher: NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme
Citation: Francis JJ, Duncan EM, Prior ME, MacLennan G, Dombrowski SU, Bellingan G, Campbell MK, Eccles MP, Rose L, Rowan KM, Shulman R, Wilson APR & Cuthbertson BH (2014) Selective decontamination of the digestive tract in critically ill patients treated in intensive care units: a mixed-methods feasibility study (the SuDDICU study), Health Technology Assessment, 18 (25).
Abstract: Background: Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) are a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Critically ill patients in intensive care units (ICUs) are particularly susceptible to these infections. One intervention that has gained much attention in reducing HAIs is selective decontamination of the digestive tract (SDD). SDD involves the application of topical non-absorbable antibiotics to the oropharynx and stomach and a short course of intravenous (i.v.) antibiotics. SDD may reduce infections and improve mortality, but has not been widely adopted in the UK or internationally. Hence, there is a need to identify the reasons for low uptake and whether or not further clinical research is needed before wider implementation would be considered appropriate. Objectives: The project objectives were to (1) identify and describe the SDD intervention, (2) identify views about the evidence base, (3) identify acceptability of further research and (4) identify feasibility of further randomised controlled trials (RCTs). Design : A four-stage approach involving (1) case studies of two ICUs in which SDD is delivered including observations, interviews and documentary analysis, (2) a three-round Delphi study for in-depth investigation of clinicians' views, including semi-structured interviews and two iterations of questionnaires with structured feedback, (3) a nationwide online survey of consultants in intensive care medicine and clinical microbiology and (4) semistructured interviews with international clinical triallists to identify the feasibility of further research. Setting : Case studies were set in two UK ICUs. Other stages of this research were conducted by telephone and online with NHS staff working in ICUs. Participants : (1) Staff involved in SDD adoption or delivery in two UK ICUs, (2) ICU experts (intensive care consultants, clinical microbiologists, hospital pharmacists and ICU clinical leads), (3) all intensive care consultants and clinical microbiologists in the UK with responsibility for patients in ICUs were invited and (4) international triallists, selected from their research profiles in intensive care, clinical trials and/or implementation trials. Interventions : SDD involves the application of topical non-absorbable antibiotics to the oropharynx and stomach and a short course of i.v. antibiotics. Main outcome measures: Levels of support for, or opposition to, SDD in UK ICUs; views about the SDD evidence base and about barriers to implementation; and feasibility of further SDD research (e.g. likely participation rates). Results : (1) The two case studies identified complexity in the interplay of clinical and behavioural components of SDD, involving multiple staff. However, from the perspective of individual staff, delivery of SDD was regarded as simple and straightforward. (2) The Delphi study (n = 42) identified (a) specific barriers to SDD implementation, (b) uncertainty about the evidence base and (c) bimodal distributions for key variables, e.g. support for, or opposition to, SDD. (3) The national survey (n = 468) identified uncertainty about the effect of SDD on antimicrobial resistance, infection rates, mortality and cost-effectiveness. Most participants would participate in further SDD research. (4) The triallist interviews (n = 10) focused largely on the substantial challenges of conducting a large, multinational clinical effectiveness trial. Conclusions : There was considerable uncertainty about possible benefits and harms of SDD. Further large-scale clinical effectiveness trials of SDD in ICUs may be required to address these uncertainties, especially relating to antimicrobial resistance. There was a general willingness to participate in a future effectiveness RCT of SDD. However, support was not unanimous. Future research should address the barriers to acceptance and participation in any trial. There was some, but a low level of, interest in adoption of SDD, or studies to encourage implementation of SDD into practice.
Type: Journal Article
DOI Link:
Rights: © Queen’s Printer and Controller of HMSO 2014. This work was produced by Francis et al. under the terms of a commissioning contract issued by the Secretary of State for Health. This issue may be freely reproduced for the purposes of private research and study and extracts (or indeed, the full report) may be included in professional journals provided that suitable acknowledgement is made and the reproduction is not associated with any form of advertising. Applications for commercial reproduction should be addressed to: NIHR Journals Library, National Institute for Health Research, Evaluation, Trials and Studies Coordinating Centre, Alpha House, University of Southampton Science Park, Southampton SO16 7NS, UK.
Affiliation: City University London
University of Aberdeen
University of Aberdeen
University of Aberdeen
University College London
University of Aberdeen
Newcastle University
University of Toronto
Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre (ICNARC)
University College London
University College London
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

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