Rationale, aims and objectives The quality of patient care and safety is dependent on addressing both errors of commission (e.g. overuse of medications) and errors of omission (e.g. patients receiving too little care). Despite guidelines recommending the use of certain proven pharmacotherapeutic interventions, a large gap exists between the patients that have an indication for, and those that actually receive such interventions. To address how the rate of implementation of proven interventions can be improved is dependent on a comprehensive knowledge of the factors contributing to their underuse. The aim of the review is to create an evidence-based framework of reasons why eligible patients do not receive proven pharmacotherapeutic interventions.
Methods A systemic review of the published reasons for non-use based on the Cochrane methodology.
Results The systematic review identified 67 articles meeting the inclusion criteria. The reasons for non-use were extracted from the studies and a framework was created from the results.
Conclusions The factors associated with lack of implementation of proven pharmacotherapeutic interventions are complex and heterogeneous but can be understood from the perspectives of clinicians, patients and health care delivery systems. Efforts to increase the utilization of proven interventions should focus on disease/intervention-specific programmes that take into account the identified modifiable clinician, patient and system factors.