OBJECTIVES: To explore reasons for the lack of uptake of 'Better Care Better Value (BCBV)' prescribing indicators for renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) inhibitors and identify learning lessons to inform the implementation of future prescribing policies. DESIGN: In-depth, semistructured interviews to explore: general practitioners' (GPs) experiences in prescribing RAAS, perceptions of the BCBV policy and potential barriers to policy implementation and suggestions for improving future policy implementation. Interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically, then mapped onto behavioural change frameworks (the Capability, Opportunity, Motivation and Behaviour) model and Behaviour Change Wheel (BCW)). SETTING: Primary care setting in England PARTICIPANTS: Interviews were conducted with 16 GPs recruited from a purposive sample of 91 GP practices in three English counties. RESULTS: Four factors/barriers, related mainly to GPs' psychological capability and reflective motivation, emerged as the possible barriers for the BCBV's lack of uptake, including: lack of the policy awareness, negative attitude to the policy, lack of incentives and GPs' reluctance to switch patients from angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) to ACE inhibitors (ACEIs). The participating GPs proposed interventions to improve future BCBV implementation and they were related to six intervention/policy functions of the BCW, addressing the four identified barriers: education/communication (increase GPs' awareness) and environmental restructuring/regulations (provide GPs with reminding alerts); incentivisation/fiscal (provide GPs with financial incentives); enablement/guidelines-regulations (provide GPs with benchmarking against peers) and enablement/regulations and education/guidelines (facilitate switching from ARBs to ACEIs). CONCLUSIONS: The main reason underpinning the low uptake of the BCBV indicator appears to be lack of a proactive implementation strategy. This case study demonstrated that passively disseminating policy without an effective implementation strategy results in low uptake. Furthermore, multifaceted implementation strategies are necessary to influence complex clinical decision making in a time-limited environment, such as prescribing behaviours. These findings suggest that effective policy implementation requires the application of a systematic comprehensive behaviours change framework.
- Better Care Better Value prescribing policy
- angiotensin-converting enzyme Inhibitors
- angiotensin receptor blockers
- policy implementation
- behaviours change frameworks
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