Barriers and facilitators to a task-shifted stroke prevention program for children with sickle cell anemia in a community hospital: a qualitative study

Halima Bello-Manga, Lawal Haliru, Kudirat Ahmed, Samuel Ige, Hayatu Musa, Zainab Kwaru Muhammad-Idris, Binshak Monday, Abdulrashid M. Sani, Kemberlee Bonnet, David G. Schlundt, Taniya Varughese, Abdulkadir M. Tabari, Michael R. DeBaun, Ana A. Baumann, Allison A. King

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Children with sickle cell anemia (SCA) are at high risk for stroke. Protocols for stroke prevention including blood transfusions, screening for abnormal non-imaging transcranial Doppler (TCD) measurements, and hydroxyurea therapy are difficult to implement in low-resource environments like Nigeria. This study aimed to examine the contextual factors around TCD screening in a community hospital in Nigeria using qualitative interviews and focus groups. Methods: We conducted a descriptive qualitative study in a community hospital in Kaduna, Nigeria, using focus groups and interviews. Interview guides and analysis were informed by the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) framework and the Theory of Planned Behavior. Transcripts were coded and analyzed using an iterative deductive (CFIR)/Inductive (transcribed quotes) qualitative methodology. Results: We conducted two focus groups and five interviews with health care workers (nurses and doctors) and hospital administrators, respectively. Themes identified key elements of the inner setting (clinic characteristics, resource availability, implementation climate, and tension for change), characteristics of individuals (normative, control, and behavioral beliefs), and the implementation process (engage, implement, and adopt), as well as factors that were influenced by external context, caregiver needs, team function, and intervention characteristics. Task shifting, which is already being used, was viewed by providers and administrators as a necessary strategy to implement TCD screening in a clinic environment that is overstressed and under-resourced, a community stressed by poverty, and a nation with an underperforming health system. Conclusion: Task shifting provides a viable option to improve health care by making more efficient use of already available human resources while rapidly expanding the human resource pool and building capacity for TCD screening of children with SCD that is more sustainable. Trial registration: NCT05434000.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10
JournalImplementation Science Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2024


  • Implementation
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Stroke
  • Task shifting
  • Transcranial Doppler


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