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The delivery of healthcare is changing and aligned with this, the podiatry profession continues to change with evidence informed practice and extending roles. As change is now a constant, this gives clinicians the opportunity to take ownership to drive that change forward. In some cases, practitioners and their teams have done so, where others have been reluctant to embrace change. It is not clear to what extent good practice is being shared, whether interventions to bring about change have been successful, or what barriers exist that have prevented change from occurring. The aim of this article is to explore the barriers to changing professional practice and what lessons podiatry can learn from other health care professions.
A literature search was carried out which informed a narrative review of the findings. Eligible papers had to (1) examine the barriers to change strategies, (2) explore knowledge, attitudes and roles during change interventions, (3) explore how the patients/service users contribute to the change process (4) include studies from predominantly primary care in developed countries.
Ninety-two papers were included in the final review. Four papers included change interventions involving podiatrists. The barriers influencing change were synthesised into three themes (1) the organisational context, (2) the awareness, knowledge and attitudes of the professional, (3) the patient as a service user and consumer.
Minimal evidence exists about the barriers to changing professional practice in podiatry. However, there is substantial literature on barriers and implementation strategies aimed at changing professional practices in other health professions. Change in practice is often resisted at an organisational, professional or service user level. The limited literature about change in podiatry, a rapidly changing healthcare workforce and the wide range of contexts that podiatrists work, highlights the need to improve the ways in which podiatrists can share successful attempts to change practice.
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