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Quality of outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) care from the patient’s perspective: a qualitative study
  1. Marvin A H Berrevoets1,2,
  2. Anke J M Oerlemans2,
  3. Mirjam Tromp1,
  4. Bart Jan Kullberg1,
  5. Jaap ten Oever1,
  6. Jeroen A Schouten1,2,
  7. Marlies E Hulscher1,2
  1. 1 Radboud Center for Infectious Diseases, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  2. 2 Scientific Center for Quality of Healthcare, Radboud Institute for Health Sciences, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr Marvin A H Berrevoets; mberrevoets{at}


Objectives Current outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy (OPAT) guidelines recommend delivering patient-centred care. However, little is known about what patients define as good quality of OPAT care and what their needs and preferences are.

The aim of this qualitative study is to explore the patients’ perspective on high-quality care, and to explore what patient-centred care means to adult OPAT patients.

Design and setting This is an explorative, descriptive study using qualitative methods. We conducted focus group interviews with 16 adult patients (5 female, 11 male) from 3 different hospitals, who received OPAT and 2 individual semistructured interviews with their informal caregivers in the Netherlands. We used purposive sampling to ensure diversity of participants. We used the eight Picker principles of patient-centredness to guide data collection and analysis.

Results Participants reported several elements considered as important for patient-centred OPAT care, like patient involvement in the decision-making process, a responsible OPAT lead, intensive collaboration between all disciplines involved, information provision and adherence to hygiene guidelines. Two central dimensions emerged as essential constituents of patient-centred OPAT care: freedom and safety. Both are heavily influenced by the behaviours of healthcare professionals and by organisational aspects beyond the direct influence of these professionals.

Conclusion This study provides insights into the needs and preferences of adult patients who receive OPAT care. Future interventions directed at the improvement of patient-centredness of OPAT care should focus on elements that enhance patients’ feelings of freedom and safety.

  • opat
  • outpatient parenteral antimicrobial therapy
  • patient experiences
  • qualitative research
  • patient-centeredness

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See:

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  • Contributors MAHB, AJMO, JAS and MEH conceived the study. MAHB and AJMO performed the data collection. MAHB, AJMO and MEH analysed and managed the data, including quality control. MT, BJK and JTO advised on study design and reviewed the manuscript. MAHB and AJMO drafted the manuscript, all authors contributed substantially to its revision. MAHB took responsibility for the paper as a whole.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethics approval The Regional Review Board for Human Research, Arnhem-Nijmegen (CMO no. 2016–3107) assessed the study, and judged that ethics approval was not required under Dutch National Law.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement Interview guide and codebook available by request to the corresponding author.

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