Implementation of a Work-Related Asthma Screening Questionnaire in Clinical Settings: Multimethods Study

JMIR Form Res. 2022 Sep 15;6(9):e37503. doi: 10.2196/37503.


Background: A work-related asthma (WRA) screening questionnaire is currently being validated for implementation in clinical settings. To minimize barriers to integrating tools into clinical practice, a discussion of strategies for the implementation of the questionnaire has begun.

Objective: This study aimed to understand the benefits, feasibility, barriers, and limitations of implementing the Work-related Asthma Screening Questionnaire-Long version (WRASQ[L]) and asthma e-tools in clinical settings and propose dissemination and implementation strategies for the WRASQ(L).

Methods: This study was conducted in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, from September 2019 to August 2021. A workshop and 2 questionnaires were used to understand the benefits of and barriers to implementing the questionnaire in clinical settings. An expert advisory committee was established to develop the implementation and dissemination strategies. Workshops were semistructured and used thematic qualitative analysis to identify themes that provided an understanding of the benefits and limitations of and barriers to using the WRASQ(L), and e-tools in general, in clinical settings. Workshop participants included patients and health care providers, including physicians, nurses, and asthma educators, who were implementation specialists and expert electronic medical record users. A questionnaire focusing on providers' knowledge and awareness of WRA and another focusing on WRASQ(L) feedback was administered at the workshops. Advisory committee members from relevant stakeholders met 3 times to strategize implementation opportunities.

Results: A total of 6 themes were identified in the workshop: involving and addressing patient needs, novel data collection, knowledge translation, time considerations, functional and practical barriers, and human limitations. Questionnaire responses yielded positive feedback on the utility of the WRASQ(L) in clinical settings. All participants agreed that it is an easy way of collecting information on occupational and exposure history and could prompt a discussion between the health care provider and patient on how the workplace and exposures could affect one's asthma, increase awareness of WRA in patients and providers, and increase awareness of exposures in the workplace. Implementation and dissemination strategies were generated with input from the advisory committee.

Conclusions: Stakeholders and workshop participants consider the WRASQ(L) to be a useful tool that satisfies many provider needs in their clinical settings. Once validated, dissemination strategies will include developing educational materials that include the WRASQ(L), linking the questionnaire to stakeholder websites or e-toolkits, translation into other languages, leveraging health care and research networks, conference presentations, and peer-reviewed publications. Implementation strategies will include integration into electronic medical records; designing multifaceted interventions; and targeting nontraditional settings such as workplaces, pharmacies, and research settings. The WRASQ(L) addresses many benefits of and barriers to implementation, as identified in the workshop themes. These themes will guide future implementation and dissemination strategies, noting that human limitations identified in providers and patients will need to be overcome for successful implementation.

Keywords: EMRs; asthma; barriers; dissemination; e-tools; electronic medical records; implementation; knowledge translation; limitations; mobile phone; work-related asthma.