Antimicrobial Stewardship in General Practice: A Scoping Review of the Component Parts.
ABSTRACT: There is no published health-system-wide framework to guide antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) in general practice. The aim of this scoping review was to identify the component parts necessary to inform a framework to guide AMS in general practice. Six databases and nine websites were searched. The sixteen papers included were those that reported on AMS in general practice in a country where antibiotics were available by prescription from a registered provider. Six multidimensional components were identified: 1. Governance, including a national action plan with accountability, prescriber accreditation, and practice level policies. 2. Education of general practitioners (GPs) and the public about AMS and antimicrobial resistance (AMR). 3. Consultation support, including decision support with patient information resources and prescribing guidelines. 4. Pharmacist and nurse involvement. 5. Monitoring of antibiotic prescribing and AMR with feedback to GPs. 6. Research into gaps in AMS and AMR evidence with translation into practice. This framework for AMS in general practice identifies health-system-wide components to support GPs to improve the quality of antibiotic prescribing. It may assist in the development and evaluation of AMS interventions in general practice. It also provides a guide to components for inclusion in reports on AMS interventions.
Project description:There is little guidance about developing systems for antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) for general practice. A literature review identified six key components: governance, monitoring of antibiotic prescribing and resistance with feedback to prescribers, consultation support, education of the public and general practitioners, pharmacist and nurse involvement, and research, which were incorporated into a potential framework for the general practice context. Objectives: to determine the feasibility and validity of the proposed AMS framework. A secondary objective was to identify likely bodies responsible for implementation in Australia. We undertook interviews with 12 key stakeholders from government, research, and professional groups. Data were analysed with a thematic approach. The framework was considered valid and feasible. No clear organisation was identified to lead AMS implementation in general practice. The current volume-based antibiotic prescription monitoring system was considered insufficient. AMS education for the public, further development of GP education, and improved consultation support were strongly recommended. The role of community-based pharmacists and nurses is largely unexplored, but their involvement was recommended. A clear leader to drive AMS in general practice is essential for an action framework to gain traction. Monitoring and feedback of antibiotic prescribing require urgent development to include monitoring of prescribing appropriateness and patient outcomes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is high on the UK public health policy agenda, and poses challenges to patient safety and the provision of health services. Widespread prescribing of antibiotics is thought to increase AMR, and mostly takes place in primary medical care. However, prescribing rates vary substantially between general practices. The aim of this study was to understand contextual factors related to general practitioners' (GPs) antibiotic prescribing behaviour in low, high, and around the mean (medium) prescribing primary care practices. METHODS:Qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with 41 GPs working in North-West England. Participants were purposively sampled from practices with low, medium, and high antibiotic prescribing rates adjusted for the number and characteristics of patients registered in a practice. The interviews were analysed thematically. RESULTS:This study found that optimizing antibiotic prescribing creates tensions for GPs, particularly in doctor-patient communication during a consultation. GPs balanced patient expectations and their own decision-making in their communication. When not prescribing antibiotics, GPs reported the need for supportive mechanisms, such as regular practice meetings, within the practice, and in the wider healthcare system (e.g. longer consultation times). In low prescribing practices, GPs reported that increasing dialogue with colleagues, having consistent patterns of prescribing within the practice, supportive practice policies, and enough resources such as consultation time were important supports when not prescribing antibiotics. CONCLUSIONS:Insight into GPs' negotiations with patient and public health demands, and consistent and supportive practice-level policies can help support prudent antibiotic prescribing among primary care practices.
Project description:Antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) interventions directed at general practitioners (GPs) contribute to an improved antibiotic prescribing. However, it is challenging to implement and maintain such interventions at a national level. Involving the municipalities' Chief Medical Officer (MCMO) in quality improvement activities may simplify the implementation and maintenance, but may also be perceived challenging for the GPs. In the ENORM (Educational intervention in NORwegian Municipalities for antibiotic treatment in line with guidelines) study, MCMOs acted as facilitators of an AMS intervention for GPs. We explored GPs' views on their own antibiotic prescribing, and their views on MCMO involvement in improving antibiotic prescribing in general practice. This is a mixed-methods study combining quantitative and qualitative data from two data sources: e-mail interviews with 15 GPs prior to the ENORM intervention, and online-form answers to closed and open-ended questions from 132 GPs participating in the ENORM intervention. The interviews and open-ended responses were analyzed using systematic text condensation. Many GPs admitted to occasionally prescribing antibiotics without medical indication, mainly due to pressure from patients. Too liberal treatment guidelines were also seen as a reason for overtreatment. The MCMO was considered a suitable and acceptable facilitator of quality improvement activities in general practice, and their involvement was regarded as unproblematic (scale 0 (very problematic) to 10 (not problematic at all): mean 8.2, median 10). GPs acknowledge the need and possibility to improve their own antibiotic prescribing, and in doing so, they welcome engagement from the municipality. MCMOs should be involved in quality improvement and AMS in general practice.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Information about the feasibility, barriers and facilitators of antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) in residential aged care facilities (RACFs) has been scant. Exploring the prevailing perceptions and attitudes of key healthcare providers towards antibiotic prescribing behaviour, antibiotic resistance and AMS in the RACF setting is imperative to guide AMS interventions. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews and focus groups were conducted with key RACF healthcare providers until saturation of themes occurred. Participants were recruited using purposive and snowball sampling. The framework approach was applied for data analysis. RESULTS: A total of 40 nurses, 15 general practitioners (GPs) and 6 pharmacists from 12 RACFs were recruited. Five major themes emerged; perceptions of current antibiotic prescribing behaviour, perceptions of antibiotic resistance, attitude towards and understanding of AMS, perceived barriers to and facilitators of AMS implementation, and feasible AMS interventions. A higher proportion of GPs and pharmacists compared with nurses felt there was over-prescribing of antibiotics in the RACF setting. Antibiotic resistance was generally perceived as an issue for infection control rather than impacting clinical decisions. All key stakeholders were supportive of AMS implementation in RACFs; however, they recognized barriers related to workload and logistical issues. A range of practical AMS interventions were identified, with nursing-based education, aged-care specific antibiotic guidelines and regular antibiotic surveillance deemed most useful and feasible. CONCLUSIONS: Areas of antibiotic over-prescribing have been identified from different healthcare providers' perspectives. However, concern about the clinical impact of antibiotic resistance was generally lacking. Importantly, information gathered about feasibility, barriers and facilitators of various AMS interventions will provide important insights to guide development of AMS programs in the RACF setting.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Misuse of antimicrobials (AMs) and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) are global concerns. The present study evaluated knowledge, attitudes and practices about AMR and AM prescribing among medical doctors in two large public hospitals in Lima, Peru, a middle-income country. METHODS: Cross-sectional study using a self-administered questionnaire RESULTS: A total of 256 participants completed the questionnaire (response rate 82%). Theoretical knowledge was good (mean score of 6 ± 1.3 on 7 questions) in contrast to poor awareness (< 33%) of local AMR rates of key-pathogens. Participants strongly agreed that AMR is a problem worldwide (70%) and in Peru (65%), but less in their own practice (22%). AM overuse was perceived both for the community (96%) and the hospital settings (90%). Patients' pressure to prescribing AMs was considered as contributing to AM overuse in the community (72%) more than in the hospital setting (50%). Confidence among AM prescribing was higher among attending physicians (82%) compared to residents (30%, p < 0.001%). Sources of information considered as very useful/useful included pocket-based AM prescribing guidelines (69%) and internet sources (62%). Fifty seven percent of participants regarded AMs in their hospitals to be of poor quality. Participants requested more AM prescribing educational programs (96%) and local AM guidelines (92%). CONCLUSIONS: This survey revealed topics to address during future AM prescribing interventions such as dissemination of information about local AMR rates, promoting confidence in the quality of locally available AMs, redaction and dissemination of local AM guidelines and addressing the general public, and exploring the possibilities of internet-based training.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:This study aimed to explore how general practitioners (GPs) access and use both guidelines and electronic medical records (EMRs) to assist in clinical decision-making when prescribing antibiotics in Australia. DESIGN:This is an exploratory qualitative study with thematic analysis interpreted using the Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) framework. SETTING:This study was conducted in general practice in Victoria, Australia. PARTICIPANTS:Twenty-six GPs from five general practices were recruited to participate in five focus groups between February and April 2018. RESULTS:GPs expressed that current EMR systems do not provide clinical decision support to assist with antibiotic prescribing. Access and use of guidelines were variable. GPs who had more clinical experience were less likely to access guidelines than younger and less experienced GPs. Guideline use and guideline-concordant prescribing was facilitated if there was a practice culture encouraging evidence-based practice. However, a lack of access to guidelines and perceived patients' expectation and demand for antibiotics were barriers to guideline-concordant prescribing. Furthermore, guidelines that were easy to access and navigate, free, embedded within EMRs and fit into the clinical workflow were seen as likely to enhance guideline use. CONCLUSIONS:Current barriers to the use of antibiotic guidelines include GPs' experience, patient factors, practice culture, and ease of access and cost of guidelines. To reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing and to promote more rational use of antibiotic in the community, guidelines should be made available, accessible and easy to use, with minimal cost to practicing GPs. Integration of evidence-based antibiotic guidelines within the EMR in the form of a clinical decision support tool could optimise guideline use and increase guideline-concordant prescribing.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Anti-microbial resistance (AMR) is a global threat to public health and antibiotics are often unnecessarily prescribed for acute respiratory tract infections (ARTIs) in general practice. We aimed to investigate why general practitioners (GPs) continue to prescribe antibiotics for ARTIs despite increasing knowledge of their poor efficacy and worsening antimicrobial resistance. METHODS:We used an explorative qualitative study design. Thirteen GPs were recruited through purposive sampling to represent urban and rural settings and years of experience. They were based in general practices within the Mid-West of Ireland. GPs took part in semi-structured interviews that were digitally audio recorded and transcribed. RESULTS:Three main themes and three subthemes were identified. Themes include (1) non-comprehensive guidelines; how guideline adherence can be difficult, (2) GPs under pressure; pressures to prescribe from patients and perceived patient expectations and (3) Unnecessary prescribing; how to address it and the potential of public interventions to reduce it. CONCLUSIONS:GPs acknowledge their failure to implement guidelines because they feel they are less usable in clinical situations. GPs felt pressurised to prescribe, especially for fee-paying patients and in out of hours settings (OOH), suggesting the need for interventions that target the public's perceptions of antibiotics. GPs behaviours surrounding prescribing antibiotics need to change in order to reduce AMR and change patients' expectations.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:To evaluate the effectiveness and safety at population scale of electronically delivered prescribing feedback and decision support interventions at reducing antibiotic prescribing for self limiting respiratory tract infections. DESIGN:Open label, two arm, cluster randomised controlled trial. SETTING:UK general practices in the Clinical Practice Research Datalink, randomised between 11 November 2015 and 9 August 2016, with final follow-up on 9 August 2017. PARTICIPANTS:79 general practices (582 675 patient years) randomised (1:1) to antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) intervention or usual care. INTERVENTIONS:AMS intervention comprised a brief training webinar, automated monthly feedback reports of antibiotic prescribing, and electronic decision support tools to inform appropriate prescribing over 12 months. Intervention components were delivered electronically, supported by a local practice champion nominated for the trial. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:Primary outcome was the rate of antibiotic prescriptions for respiratory tract infections from electronic health records. Serious bacterial complications were evaluated for safety. Analysis was by Poisson regression with general practice as a random effect, adjusting for covariates. Prespecified subgroup analyses by age group were reported. RESULTS:The trial included 41 AMS practices (323 155 patient years) and 38 usual care practices (259 520 patient years). Unadjusted and adjusted rate ratios for antibiotic prescribing were 0.89 (95% confidence interval 0.68 to 1.16) and 0.88 (0.78 to 0.99, P=0.04), respectively, with prescribing rates of 98.7 per 1000 patient years for AMS (31 907 prescriptions) and 107.6 per 1000 patient years for usual care (27 923 prescriptions). Antibiotic prescribing was reduced most in adults aged 15-84 years (adjusted rate ratio 0.84, 95% confidence interval 0.75 to 0.95), with one antibiotic prescription per year avoided for every 62 patients (95% confidence interval 40 to 200). There was no evidence of effect for children younger than 15 years (adjusted rate ratio 0.96, 95% confidence interval 0.82 to 1.12) or people aged 85 years and older (0.97, 0.79 to 1.18); there was also no evidence of an increase in serious bacterial complications (0.92, 0.74 to 1.13). CONCLUSIONS:Electronically delivered interventions, integrated into practice workflow, result in moderate reductions of antibiotic prescribing for respiratory tract infections in adults, which are likely to be of importance for public health. Antibiotic prescribing to very young or old patients requires further evaluation. TRIAL REGISTRATION:ISRCTN95232781.
Project description:The TARGET (Treat Antibiotics Responsibly; Guidance, Education, Tools) Antibiotics Toolkit aims to improve antimicrobial prescribing in primary care through guidance, interactive workshops with action planning, patient facing educational and audit materials.To explore GPs', nurses' and other stakeholders' views of TARGET.Mixed methods.In 2014, 40 UK GP staff and 13 stakeholders participated in interviews or focus groups. We analysed data using a thematic framework and normalization process theory (NPT).Two hundred and sixty-nine workshop participants completed evaluation forms, and 40 GP staff, 4 trainers and 9 relevant stakeholders participated in interviews (29) or focus groups (24). GP staffs were aware of the issues around antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and how it related to their prescribing. Most participants stated that TARGET as a whole was useful. Participants suggested the workshop needed less background on AMR, be centred around clinical cases and allow more action planning time. Participants particularly valued comparison of their practice antibiotic prescribing with others and the TARGET Treating Your Infection leaflet. The leaflet needed greater accessibility via GP computer systems. Due to time, cost, accessibility and competing priorities, many GP staff had not fully utilized all resources, especially the audit and educational materials.We found evidence that the workshop is likely to be more acceptable and engaging if based around clinical scenarios, with less on AMR and more time on action planning. Greater promotion of TARGET, through Clinical Commissioning Group's (CCG's) and professional bodies, may improve uptake. Patient facing resources should be made accessible through computer shortcuts built into general practice software.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Community pharmacists and their staff have the potential to contribute to antimicrobial stewardship (AMS). However, their barriers and opportunities are not well understood. The aim was to investigate the experiences and perceptions of community pharmacists and their teams around AMS to inform intervention development. DESIGN:Interviews and focus groups were used to explore the views of pharmacists, pharmacy staff, general practitioners (GPs), members of pharmacy organisations and commissioners. The questioning schedule was developed using the Theoretical Domains Framework which helped inform recommendations to facilitate AMS in community pharmacy. RESULTS:8 GPs, 28 pharmacists, 13 pharmacy staff, 6 representatives from pharmacy organisations in England and Wales, and 2 local stakeholders participated.Knowledge and skills both facilitated or hindered provision of self-care and compliance advice by different grades of pharmacy staff. Some staff were not aware of the impact of giving self-care and compliance advice to help control antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The pharmacy environment created barriers to AMS; this included lack of time of well-qualified staff leading to misinformation from underskilled staff to patients about the need for antibiotics or the need to visit the GP, this was exacerbated by lack of space. AMS activities were limited by absent diagnoses on antibiotic prescriptions.Several pharmacy staff felt that undertaking patient examinations, questioning the rationale for antibiotic prescriptions and performing audits would allow them to provide more tailored AMS advice. CONCLUSIONS:Interventions are required to overcome a lack of qualified staff, time and space to give patients AMS advice. Staff need to understand how self-care and antibiotic compliance advice can help control AMR. A multifaceted educational intervention including information for staff with feedback about the advice given may help. Indication for a prescription would enable pharmacists to provide more targeted antibiotic advice. Commissioners should consider the pharmacists' role in examining patients, and giving advice about antibiotic prescriptions.