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Point-of-care C reactive protein for the diagnosis of lower respiratory tract infection in NHS primary care: a qualitative study of barriers and facilitators to adoption
  1. Jeremy R Huddy1,
  2. Melody Z Ni1,
  3. James Barlow2,
  4. Azeem Majeed3,
  5. George B Hanna1
  1. 1Department of Surgery and Cancer, Imperial College, London, UK
  2. 2Imperial College Business School, South Kensington Campus, London, UK
  3. 3Department of Primary Care and Public Health, Imperial College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor George B Hanna; g.hanna{at}


Objectives Point-of-care (POC) C reactive protein (CRP) is incorporated in National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines for the diagnosis of pneumonia, reduces antibiotic prescribing and is cost effective.

Aim To determine the barriers and facilitators to adoption of POC CRP testing in National Health Service (NHS) primary care for the diagnosis of lower respiratory tract infection.

Design The study followed a qualitative methodology based on grounded theory. The study was undertaken in 2 stages. Stage 1 consisted of semistructured interviews with 8 clinicians from Europe and the UK who use the test in routine practice, and focused on their subjective experience in the challenges of implementing POC CRP testing. Stage 2 was a multidisciplinary-facilitated workshop with NHS stakeholders to discuss barriers to adoption, impact of adoption and potential adoption scenarios. Emergent theme analysis was undertaken.

Participants Participants included general practitioners (including those with commissioning experience), biochemists, pharmacists, clinical laboratory scientists and industry representatives from the UK and abroad.

Results Barriers to the implementation of POC CRP exist, but successful adoption has been demonstrated abroad. Analysis highlighted 7 themes: reimbursement and incentivisation, quality control and training, laboratory services, practitioner attitudes and experiences, effects on clinic flow and workload, use in pharmacy and gaps in evidence.

Conclusions Successful adoption models from the UK and abroad demonstrate a distinctive pattern and involve collaboration with central laboratory services. Incorporating antimicrobial stewardship into quality improvement frameworks may incentivise adoption. Further research is needed to develop scaling-up strategies to address the resourcing, clinical governance and economic impact of widespread NHS implementation.


This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt and build upon this work, for commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited. See:

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