Barriers to implementation of stratified care in primary biliary cholangitis: a scoping exercise

BMJ Open Gastroenterol. 2019 Jun 17;6(1):e000226. doi: 10.1136/bmjgast-2018-000226. eCollection 2019.


Patients with primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) can be stratified into low-risk and high-risk groups based on their response to treatment. Newly published guidelines from the British Society of Gastroenterology suggest low-risk patients can be managed substantially in primary care. This represents a shift from existing practice and makes assumptions about service capacity and the willingness of both patients and health care practitioners (HCPs) to make this change. The aim of this paper is to identify possible barriers to the implementation of these new care pathways through review of the PBC-specific literature and by identifying the experiences of patients and HCPs managing a different condition with comparable patients and disease characteristics. Searches of MEDLINE, CINAHL and EMBASE were undertaken. Within the existing PBC literature there is little data surrounding stakeholder perspectives on place of care. Review of the breast cancer literature highlights a number of barriers to change including primary care practitioner knowledge and work load, communication between healthcare settings, and the significance of the established doctor-patient relationship. Further research is needed to establish the extent to which these barriers may surface when changing PBC care pathways, and the actions required to overcome them.

Keywords: cholestatic liver diseases; health service research; primary biliary cirrhosis; primary care.

Publication types

  • Review