Provider prescription of hydroxyurea in youth and adults with sickle cell disease: A review of prescription barriers and facilitators


Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited red blood cell disorder associated with frequent painful events and organ damage. Hydroxyurea (HU) is the recommended evidence-based treatment of SCD. However, among patients eligible for HU, prescription rates are low. Utilizing a scoping review approach, we summarized and synthesized relevant findings regarding provider barriers and facilitators to the prescription of HU in youth and adults with SCD and provided suggestions for future implementation strategies to improve prescription rates. Relevant databases were searched using specified search terms. Articles reporting provider barriers and/or facilitators to prescribing HU were included. A total of 10 studies met the inclusion criteria. Common barriers to the prescription of HU identified by providers included: doubts around patients' adherence to HU and their engaging in required testing, concerns about side effects, lack of knowledge, cost and patient concerns about side effects. Facilitators to the prescription of HU included beliefs in the effectiveness of HU, provider demographics and knowledge. Findings suggest significant provider biases exist, particularly in the form of negative perceptions towards patients' ability to adhere to taking HU and engaging in the required follow-up. Improving provider knowledge and attitudes towards HU and SCD may help improve low prescription rates.

Publication Title

British Journal of Haematology