Adapting the FAST-M maternal sepsis intervention for implementation in Pakistan: a qualitative exploratory study

Sheikh Irfan Ahmed, Bakhtawar M.Hanif Khowaja, Rubina Barolia, Raheel Sikandar, Ghulam Kubra Rind, Sehrish Khan, Raheela Rani, James Cheshire, Catherine Louise Dunlop, Arri Coomarasamy, Lumaan Sheikh, David Lissauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective A maternal sepsis management bundle for resource-limited settings was developed through a synthesis of evidence and international consensus. This bundle, called FAST-M' consists of: Fluids, Antibiotics, Source control, assessment of the need to Transport/Transfer to a higher level of care and ongoing Monitoring (of the mother and neonate). The study aimed to adapt the FAST-M intervention including the bundle care tools for early identification and management of maternal sepsis in a low-resource setting of Pakistan and identify potential facilitators and barriers to its implementation. Setting The study was conducted at the Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, which is a tertiary referral public sector hospital in Hyderabad. Design and participants A qualitative exploratory study comprising key informant interviews and a focus group discussion was conducted with healthcare providers (HCPs) working in the study setting between November 2020 and January 2021, to ascertain the potential facilitators and barriers to the implementation of the FAST-M intervention. Interview guides were developed using the five domains of the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research: intervention characteristics, outer setting, inner setting, characteristics of the individuals and process of implementation. Results Four overarching themes were identified, the hindering factors for implementation of the FAST-M intervention were: (1) Challenges in existing system such as a shortage of resources and lack of quality assurance; and (2) Clinical practice variation that includes lack of sepsis guidelines and documentation; the facilitating factors identified were: (3) HCPs' perceptions about the FAST-M intervention and their positive views about its execution and (4) Development of HCPs readiness for FAST-M implementation that aided in identifying solutions to potential hindering factors at their clinical setting. Conclusion The study has identified potential gaps and probable solutions to the implementation of the FAST-M intervention, with modifications for adaptation in the local context Trial registration number ISRCTN17105658.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere059273
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sept 2022


  • health & safety
  • infectious diseases
  • obstetrics
  • public health
  • reproductive medicine


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