Perceived barriers and facilitators for model-informed dosing in pregnancy: a qualitative study across healthcare practitioners and pregnant women

Charlotte Koldeweij*, Mirèse Kleuskens, Carlijn Litjens, Bryony Dean Franklin, Hubertina C.J. Scheepers, Saskia N. de Wildt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Most women use medication during pregnancy. Pregnancy-induced changes in physiology may require antenatal dose alterations. Yet, evidence-based doses in pregnancy are missing. Given historically limited data, pharmacokinetic models may inform pregnancy-adjusted doses. However, implementing model-informed doses in clinical practice requires support from relevant stakeholders.

To explore the perceived barriers and facilitators for model-informed antenatal doses among healthcare practitioners (HCPs) and pregnant women.

Online focus groups and interviews were held among healthcare practitioners (HCPs) and pregnant women from eight countries across Europe, Africa and Asia. Purposive sampling was used to identify pregnant women plus HCPs across various specialties prescribing or providing advice on medication to pregnant women. Perceived barriers and facilitators for implementing model-informed doses in pregnancy were identified and categorised using a hybrid thematic analysis.

Fifty HCPs and 11 pregnant women participated in 12 focus groups and 16 interviews between January 2022 and March 2023. HCPs worked in the Netherlands (n = 32), the UK (n = 7), South Africa (n = 5), Uganda (n = 4), Kenya, Cameroon, India and Vietnam (n = 1 each). All pregnant women resided in the Netherlands. Barriers and facilitators identified by HCPs spanned 14 categories across four domains whereas pregnant women described barriers and facilitators spanning nine categories within the same domains. Most participants found current antenatal dosing information inadequate and regarded model-informed doses in pregnancy as a valuable and for some, much-needed addition to antenatal care. Although willingness-to-follow model-informed antenatal doses was high across both groups, several barriers for implementation were identified. HCPs underlined the need for transparent model validation and endorsement of the methodology by recognised institutions. Foetal safety was deemed a critical knowledge gap by both groups. HCPs’ information needs and preferred features for model-informed doses in pregnancy varied. Several pregnant women expressed a desire to access information and partake in decisions on antenatal dosing. Conclusions: Given the perceived limitations of current pharmacotherapy for pregnant women and foetuses, model-informed dosing in pregnancy was seen as a promising means to enhance antenatal care by pregnant women and healthcare practitioners.

Original languageEnglish
Article number248
Number of pages17
JournalBMC Medicine
Issue number1
Early online date18 Jun 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jun 2024

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© The Author(s) 2024.


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