Introduction: A nonoperative treatment strategy (NOT) with antibiotics for children with simple appendicitis could reduce anesthesia and surgery-related complications. As the implementation of a new treatment in routine clinical practice may take years, this study aims to identify barriers and facilitators for implementation of NOT for children with simple appendicitis. Materials and methods: To identify barriers and facilitators for its implementation, we conducted 14 semistructured interviews and a focus group with health insurance/hospital policymakers, surgical clinicians, and young people—together with their parents—who have been treated surgically or with antibiotics. Transcripts were open coded and categorized as per the framework for healthcare innovations by Fleuren et al. Results: We identified four main themes: (1) Appendicitis is a well-known disease. Children, parents, and clinicians regard appendectomy as routine and safe, making them reluctant toward other treatment options. (2) Clinicians regard uptake of NOT in the national appendicitis guideline necessary for its implementation. (3) For identification of patients best suited for NOT more experience and scientific evidence is needed. (4) Appendectomy and NOT have different risk and benefits making the treatment choice depended on individual patient preferences. Conclusions: By addressing how NOT and operative treatment are regarded by patients and surgeons could have a substantial impact on the implementation of NOT for children with simple appendicitis. Furthermore, the individual preferences of patients need to be taken into account when choosing between operative and NOT. In other words, offering NOT in a shared decision-making model seems the first appropriate step in its implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)218-227
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Surgical Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2022


  • Appendectomy
  • Appendicitis
  • Implementation
  • Nonoperative treatment
  • Pediatric surgery

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