The experience of healthcare workers to HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) implementation in low- and middle-income countries: A systematic review and qualitative meta-synthesis


BACKGROUND: The effectiveness of pre-exposure prophylaxis has been extensively documented. However, there are substantial gaps between the actual implementation of pre-exposure prophylaxis and the ideal goal, especially in low-and middle-income countries. Healthcare workers play critical roles in the pre-exposure prophylaxis implementation, and they have more multi-level experiences about the barriers of pre-exposure prophylaxis implementation and how to facilitate it. However, the evidence aiming to synthesize their experiences is limited. OBJECTIVE: This study aims to aggregate the healthcare workers’ experiences of providing pre-exposure prophylaxis in low-and middle-income countries, and find the barriers, facilitators, and recommendations of pre-exposure prophylaxis implementation. METHODS: The ENTREQ (Enhancing transparency in reporting the synthesis of qualitative research) statement was used to guide the design and reporting of this qualitative meta-synthesis. A comprehensive search was conducted from inception of databases to 16(th) March 2023 in four databases: PubMed, CINAHL Plus with Full Text, Embase, Web of Science. The quality appraisal was conducted using the Joanna Briggs Institute Critical Appraisal Checklist. JBI’s meta-aggregation approach was used to guide the data extraction and synthesis, and the JBI ConQual approach was used to evaluate the evidence level of the synthesized findings. RESULTS: Fourteen articles with good methodological quality were included in this review. A total of 122 findings were extracted and 117 findings with credibility ratings of “unequivocal” or “equivocal” were included in this meta-synthesis. The eligible findings were aggregated into 13 new categories and subsequently developed into 3 synthesized findings: the barriers, facilitators, and recommendations of pre-exposure prophylaxis implementation in low-and middle-income countries. The overall ConQual score of all three synthesized findings was rated as “low.” CONCLUSION: This review aggregated the experience of health care workers implementing pre-exposure prophylaxis in low-and middle-income countries and we could focus on the following key points to promote the uptake of pre-exposure prophylaxis: improve knowledge about pre-exposure prophylaxis, create a supportive environment, address medication-related barriers, increase the human resources and financial investments, and diversify the providing models.


Zhang L, Song Y, Zheng X, Liu Y, Chen H




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Determinants of Health
  • Determinants of Health
    • Income
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV- population
  • Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Prevention
  • Prevention
    • Biomedical interventions
    • Education/media campaigns


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