Evaluation of the FAST-M maternal sepsis intervention in Pakistan: A qualitative exploratory study

Sheikh Irfan Ahmed, Bakhtawar M.Hanif Khowaja, Rubina Barolia, Raheel Sikandar, Ghulam Kubra Rind, Arshia Jahangir, Fahmida Parveen, James Cheshire, Catherine Dunlop, Pammla Margaret Petrucka, Lumaan Sheikh, Arri Coomarasamy, David Lissauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction The World Health Organization and partners developed and evaluated a maternity-specific sepsis care bundle called 'FAST-M' for low-resource settings. However, this bundle has not yet been studied in Asia. Our study sought to evaluate the perceptions of healthcare providers about the implementation of the FAST-M intervention in Pakistan. Materials and methods The study was conducted at a public sector hospital in Hyderabad. We conducted three focus group discussions with healthcare providers including doctors, nurses, and healthcare administrators (n = 22) who implemented the FAST-M intervention. The Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research was used as a guiding framework for data collection and analysis. The data were analyzed using a thematic analysis approach and deductive methods. Results Five overarching themes emerged: (I) FAST-M intervention and its significance including HCPs believing in the advantages of using the intervention to improve clinical practices; (II) Influence of outer and inner settings including non-availability of resources in the facility for sepsis care; (III) HCPs perceptions about sustainability, which were positive (IV) Integration into the clinical setting including HCPs views on the existing gaps, for example, shortage of HCPs and communication gaps, and their recommendations to improve these; and (V) Outcomes of the intervention including improved clinical processes and outcomes using the FAST-M intervention. Significant improvement in patient monitoring and FAST-M bundle completion within an hour of diagnosis of sepsis was reported by the HCPs. Conclusions The healthcare providers' views were positive about the intervention, its outcomes, and long-term sustainability. The qualitative data provided findings on the acceptability of the overall implementation processes to support subsequent scaling up of the intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0284530
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number4 April
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


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