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Perceptions, attitudes, and practices of a Belgian teaching hospital’s physicians, pharmacists, and nurses regarding antibiotic use and resistance: survey towards targeted actions for Antimicrobial Stewardship

Antimicrob Resist Infect Control. 2023 Mar 19;12(1):19. doi: 10.1186/s13756-023-01228-w.


OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to identify barriers to the proper use of antibiotics by healthcare professionals and to help the hospital Antimicrobial Stewardship develop suitable actions for the staff.

METHODS: In a Belgian teaching hospital, a survey was conducted among physicians, pharmacists, and nurses involved in antibiotherapy. Questions from the 2019 European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) survey were analyzed based on components of the COM-B model (capabilities, opportunities, and motivations). First, collected data were reviewed with the Ethnos software to analyze the different COM-B model components. For statistical analyses, responses were grouped into three clear-cut answers in a Fisher’s exact test.

RESULTS: Overall, 400 staff members were included. We found that our professions, combined, have a good perception of antibiotic resistance (97.8%). For capabilities, however, only 77.2% state that they have sufficient knowledge, with 91.3%, 71.5%, and 63.0% for physicians, nurses, and pharmacists, respectively. For opportunities (access to resources, information, and training), it is observed that 72.2% report having easy access to the guidelines they need to manage infections. In comparison, for 64.2% of the respondents, this information changed their opinion on the useless or inappropriate prescription, administration, and delivery of antibiotics. For 55.0%, this information has enabled them to change their practices. Finally, for motivations, 92.8% of respondents state that they know about the link between their practices and the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance. However, only 65.0% of participants say they have a role in managing antibiotic resistance. We found that 5 out of 8 questions are significantly dependent on the profession: 2 inquiries related to capability, 1 to opportunity, and 2 to motivation.

CONCLUSION: We found that responses to the ECDC questionnaire are related to the profession. While some topics are universal/cross-functional, others must be explicitly tailored to each professional category. Information is useless if not accessible. Communication and provision of documents are thus paramount.

PMID:36934291 | DOI:10.1186/s13756-023-01228-w

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