BACKGROUND: Hypertensive disorders account for 14% of global maternal deaths. Magnesium sulphate (MgSO4) is recommended for prevention and treatment of pre-eclampsia/eclampsia. However, MgSO4 remains underutilized, particularly in low-and-middle-income countries (LMICs). OBJECTIVE: This qualitative evidence synthesis explores perceptions and experiences of healthcare providers, administrators and policy-makers regarding factors affecting use of MgSO4 to prevent or treat pre-eclampsia/eclampsia. SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE, Emcare, CINAHL, Global Health, and Global Index Medicus, and grey literature for studies published between January 1995 and June 2021. SELECTION CRITERIA: Primary qualitative and mixed-methods studies on factors affecting use of MgSO4 in healthcare settings, from the perspectives of healthcare providers, administrators and policy-makers were eligible for inclusion. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We applied a thematic synthesis approach to analysis, using COM-B behaviour change theory to map factors affecting appropriate use of MgSO4. MAIN RESULTS: We included 22 studies, predominantly from LMICs. Key themes included provider competence and confidence administering MgSO4 (attitudes and beliefs, complexities of administering, knowledge and experience), capability of health systems to ensure MgSO4 availability at point of use (availability, resourcing, and pathways to care), and knowledge translation (dissemination of research and recommendations). Within each COM-B domain, we mapped facilitators and barriers to physical and psychological capability, physical and social opportunity, and how the interplay between these domains influences Motivation. CONCLUSIONS: These findings can inform policy and guideline development and improve implementation of MgSO4 in clinical care. Such action is needed to ensure this life-saving treatment is widely available and appropriately used.
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