Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVE: Blood culture (BC) sampling is recommended for all suspected sepsis patients prior to antibiotic administration. We examine barriers and enablers to BC sampling in three Southeast Asian countries. DESIGN: A Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF)-based survey, comprising a case scenario of a patient presenting with community-acquired sepsis and all 14 TDF domains of barriers/enablers to BC sampling. SETTING: Hospitals in Indonesia, Thailand and Viet Nam, December 2021 to 30 April 2022. PARTICIPANTS: 1070 medical doctors and 238 final-year medical students were participated in this study. Half of the respondents were women (n=680, 52%) and most worked in governmental hospitals (n=980, 75.4%). OUTCOME MEASURES: Barriers and enablers to BC sampling. RESULTS: The proportion of respondents who answered that they would definitely take BC in the case scenario was highest at 89.8% (273/304) in Thailand, followed by 50.5% (252/499) in Viet Nam and 31.3% (157/501) in Indonesia (p<0.001). Barriers/enablers in nine TDF domains were considered key in influencing BC sampling, including 'priority of BC (TDF-goals)', 'perception about their role to order or initiate an order for BC (TDF-social professional role and identity)', 'perception that BC is helpful (TDF-beliefs about consequences)', 'intention to follow guidelines (TDF-intention)', 'awareness of guidelines (TDF-knowledge)', 'norms of BC sampling (TDF-social influence)', 'consequences that discourage BC sampling (TDF-reinforcement)', 'perceived cost-effectiveness of BC (TDF-environmental context and resources)' and 'regulation on cost reimbursement (TDF-behavioural regulation)'. There was substantial heterogeneity between the countries. In most domains, the lower (higher) proportion of Thai respondents experienced the barriers (enablers) compared with that of Indonesian and Vietnamese respondents. A range of suggested intervention types and policy options was identified. CONCLUSIONS: Barriers and enablers to BC sampling are varied and heterogenous. Cost-related barriers are more common in more resource-limited countries, while many barriers are not directly related to cost. Context-specific multifaceted interventions at both hospital and policy levels are required to improve diagnostic stewardship practices.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Open

Publication Date





Diagnostic microbiology, INFECTIOUS DISEASES, MICROBIOLOGY, Public Hospitals, QUALITATIVE RESEARCH, Surveys and Questionnaires, Humans, Female, Male, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Blood Culture, Sepsis, Qualitative Research