Barriers and facilitators to ED physician use of the test and treatment for BPPV

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Abstract

Background:

The test and treatment for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) are evidence-based practices supported by clinical guideline statements. Yet these practices are underutilized in the emergency department (ED) and interventions to promote their use are needed. To inform the development of an intervention, we interviewed ED physicians to explore barriers and facilitators to the current use of the Dix-Hallpike test (DHT) and the canalith repositioning maneuver (CRM).

Methods:

We conducted semi-structured in-person interviews with ED physicians who were recruited at annual ED society meetings in the United States. We analyzed data thematically using qualitative content analysis methods.

Results:

Based on 50 interviews with ED physicians, barriers that contributed to infrequent use of DHT/CRM that emerged were (1) prior negative experiences or forgetting how to perform them and (2) reliance on the history of present illness to identify BPPV, or using the DHT but misattributing patterns of nystagmus. Based on participants' responses, the principal facilitator of DHT/CRM use was prior positive experiences using these, even if infrequent. When asked which clinical supports would facilitate more frequent use of DHT/CRM, participants agreed supports needed to be brief, readily accessible, and easy to use, and to include well-annotated video examples.

Conclusions:

Interventions to promote the use of the DHT/CRM in the ED need to overcome prior negative experiences with the DHT/CRM, overreliance on the history of present illness, and the underuse and misattribution of patterns of nystagmus. Future resources need to be sensitive to provider preferences for succinct information and video examples.

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