Background: In the absence of adequate harm reduction opportunities, people who inject drugs (PWID) are at increased risk for serious infections. Infectious diseases guidelines recommend extended periods of intravenous antibiotic treatment through peripherally inserted central catheters (PICCs), but PWID are often deemed unsuitable for this treatment. We conducted semi-structured interviews and focus groups to understand the perspectives and opinions of patients and clinicians on the use of PICCs for PWID.
Methods: We approached patients and clinicians (doctors, nurses, PICC nurses, social workers, and case workers) involved in patient care at Tufts Medical Center (Boston, Massachusetts) between August 2019 and April 2020 for semi-structured interviews and focus groups.
Results: Eleven of 14 (79%) patients agreed to participate in an in-depth interview, and 5 role-specific clinician focus groups (1 group consisting of infectious diseases, internal medicine, and addiction psychiatry doctors, 2 separate groups of floor nurses, 1 group of PICC nurses, and 1 group of social workers) were completed. Emergent themes included the overall agreement that PICCs improve healthcare, patients’ feelings that their stage of recovery from addiction was not taken into consideration, and clinicians’ anecdotal negative experiences driving decisions on PICCs.
Conclusions: When analyzed together, the experiences of PWID and clinicians shed light on ways the healthcare system can improve the quality of care for PWID hospitalized for infections. Further research is needed to develop a system of person-centered care for PWID that meets the specific needs of patients and improves the relationship between them and the healthcare system.Reference:
Morales Y, Smyth E, Zubiago J, Bearnot B, Wurcel AG. “They Just Assume That We’re All Going to Do the Wrong Thing With It. It’s Just Not True”: Stakeholder Perspectives About Peripherally Inserted Central Catheters in People Who Inject Drugs. Open Forum Infect Dis. 2022 Oct 19;9(10):ofac364. doi: 10.1093/ofid/ofac364. PMID: 36267246; PMCID: PMC9579457.