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BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study is to develop a theory-driven understanding of the barriers and facilitators underpinning physicians' attitudes and capabilities to implementing SARS-CoV-2 point-of-care (POC) testing into primary care practices. METHODS: We used a secondary qualitative analysis approach to re-analyse data from a qualitative, interview study of 22 primary care physicians from 21 primary care practices across three regions in England. We followed the three-step method based on the Behaviour Change Wheel to identify the barriers to implementing SARS-CoV-2 POC testing and identified strategies to address these challenges. RESULTS: Several factors underpinned primary care physicians' attitudes and capabilities to implement SARS-CoV-2 POC testing into practice. First, limited knowledge of the SARS-CoV-2 POC testing landscape and a demanding workload affected physicians' willingness to use the tests. Second, there was scepticism about the insufficient evidence pertaining to the clinical efficacy and utility of POC tests, which affected physicians' confidence in the accuracy of tests. Third, physicians would adopt POC tests if they were prescribed and recommended by authorities. Fourth, physicians required professional education and training to increase their confidence in using POC tests but also suggested that healthcare assistants should administer the tests. Fifth, physicians expressed concerns about their limited workload capacity and that extra resources are needed to accommodate any anticipated changes. Sixth, information sharing across practices shaped perceptions of POC tests and the quality of information influenced physician perceptions. Seventh, financial incentives could motivate physicians and were also needed to cover the associated costs of testing. Eighth, physicians were worried that society will view primary care as an alternative to community testing centres, which would change perceptions around their professional identity. Ninth, physicians' perception of assurance/risk influenced their willingness to use POC testing if it could help identify infectious individuals, but they were also concerned about the risk of occupational exposure and potentially losing staff members who would need to self-isolate. CONCLUSIONS: Improving primary care physicians' knowledgebase of SARS-CoV-2 POC tests, introducing policies to embed testing into practice, and providing resources to meet the anticipated demands of testing are critical to implementing testing into practice.

Original publication




Journal article


Implement Sci Commun

Publication Date





Behaviour Change Wheel, Behaviour change technique taxonomy, COVID-19, Point-of-care testing, Primary care, SARS-CoV-2, Theoretical Domains Framework