A survey of barriers and facilitators to caffeine use for apnoea of prematurity in low- and middle-income countries

Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health (East Africa)


Background: Despite its associated benefits which include better long-term pulmonary and neurodevelopmental outcome, the use of caffeine for apnoea of prematurity (AoP) has been limited in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC)

Aim: To better understand current caffeine use, the barriers and facilitators to its use and perceptions and practices in LMIC which have a disproportionately high burden of prematurity.

Methods: An anonymous online global survey was conducted, targeting healthcare providers working and training in paediatrics and/or neonatology in LMIC.

Results: A total of 181 respondents in 16 LMIC were included in the analysis; most were physicians working in publicly-funded urban tertiary hospitals. Most had received training in the use of caffeine for AoP (77%), reported expertise (70%) and confidence (96%) in its use, and had access to caffeine (65%). Caffeine availability was reported to be the greatest barrier (48%) and the greatest facilitator (37%). Other common barriers included cost (31%), access (7%) and policies or guidelines on caffeine use (7%); other common facilitators included policies or guidelines on caffeine use (11%), access (10%), staff/other providers’ acceptance of caffeine as an appropriate treatment (9%) and the availability of staff to administer caffeine (8%). Most (79%) noted that access to caffeine was important, 92% agreed that caffeine improves quality of care, and 95% agreed that caffeine improves patient outcome.

Conclusion: Improving availability and access to low-cost caffeine will be key to increasing caffeine use in LMIC.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Paediatrics and International Child Health