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      Barriers and facilitators of appropriate antibiotic use in primary care institutions after an antibiotic quality improvement program – a nested qualitative study


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          Antibiotic prescribing by physicians in primary care institutions is common and affected by several factors. Diagnosis and treatment of infections in a nursing home (NH) resident is challenging, with the risk of both under- and overtreatment. Identifying barriers and facilitators of appropriate antibiotic prescribing in NHs and municipal acute care units (MACUs) is essential to ensure the most adequate antibiotic treatment possible and develop future antibiotic stewardship programs.


          After implementing a one-year antibiotic quality improvement program, we conducted six semi-structured focus group interviews with physicians ( n = 11) and nurses ( n = 14) in 10 NHs and 3 MACUs located in the county of Østfold, Norway. We used a semi-structured interview guide covering multiple areas influencing antibiotic use to identify persistent barriers and facilitators of appropriate antibiotic prescribing after the intervention. The interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. The content analysis was performed following the six phases of thematic analysis developed by Braun and Clarke.


          We identified thirteen themes containing barriers and facilitators of the appropriateness of antibiotic use in primary care institutions. The themes were grouped into four main levels: Barriers and facilitators 1) at the clinical level, 2) at the resident level, 3) at the next of kin level, and 4) at the organisational level. Unclear clinical presentation of symptoms and lack of diagnostic possibilities were described as essential barriers to appropriate antibiotic use. At the same time, increased availability of the permanent nursing home physician and early and frequent dialogue with the residents’ next of kin were emphasized as facilitators of appropriate antibiotic use. The influence of nurses in the decision-making process regarding infection diagnostics and treatment was by both professions described as profound.


          Our qualitative study identified four main levels containing several barriers and facilitators of appropriate antibiotic prescribing in Norwegian NHs and MACUs. Diagnostic uncertainty, frequent dialogue with next of kin and organisational factors should be targeted in future antibiotic stewardship programs in primary care institutions. In addition, for such programs to be as effective as possible, nurses should be included on equal terms with physicians.

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          Using thematic analysis in psychology

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            Standards for reporting qualitative research: a synthesis of recommendations.

            Standards for reporting exist for many types of quantitative research, but currently none exist for the broad spectrum of qualitative research. The purpose of the present study was to formulate and define standards for reporting qualitative research while preserving the requisite flexibility to accommodate various paradigms, approaches, and methods.
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              A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of antibiotic consumption on antibiotic resistance

              Background Greater use of antibiotics during the past 50 years has exerted selective pressure on susceptible bacteria and may have favoured the survival of resistant strains. Existing information on antibiotic resistance patterns from pathogens circulating among community-based patients is substantially less than from hospitalized patients on whom guidelines are often based. We therefore chose to assess the relationship between the antibiotic resistance pattern of bacteria circulating in the community and the consumption of antibiotics in the community. Methods Both gray literature and published scientific literature in English and other European languages was examined. Multiple regression analysis was used to analyse whether studies found a positive relationship between antibiotic consumption and resistance. A subsequent meta-analysis and meta-regression was conducted for studies for which a common effect size measure (odds ratio) could be calculated. Results Electronic searches identified 974 studies but only 243 studies were considered eligible for inclusion by the two independent reviewers who extracted the data. A binomial test revealed a positive relationship between antibiotic consumption and resistance (p < .001) but multiple regression modelling did not produce any significant predictors of study outcome. The meta-analysis generated a significant pooled odds ratio of 2.3 (95% confidence interval 2.2 to 2.5) with a meta-regression producing several significant predictors (F(10,77) = 5.82, p < .01). Countries in southern Europe produced a stronger link between consumption and resistance than other regions. Conclusions Using a large set of studies we found that antibiotic consumption is associated with the development of antibiotic resistance. A subsequent meta-analysis, with a subsample of the studies, generated several significant predictors. Countries in southern Europe produced a stronger link between consumption and resistance than other regions so efforts at reducing antibiotic consumption may need to be strengthened in this area. Increased consumption of antibiotics may not only produce greater resistance at the individual patient level but may also produce greater resistance at the community, country, and regional levels, which can harm individual patients.

                Author and article information

                BMC Geriatr
                BMC Geriatr
                BMC Geriatrics
                BioMed Central (London )
                27 May 2022
                27 May 2022
                : 22
                : 458
                [1 ]GRID grid.5510.1, ISNI 0000 0004 1936 8921, Antibiotic Center for Primary Care, Department of General Practice, Institute of Health and Society, , University of Oslo, ; Postboks 1130 Blindern, 0317 Oslo, Norway
                [2 ]GRID grid.5510.1, ISNI 0000 0004 1936 8921, Centre for Medical Ethics, Institute of Health and Society, Faculty of Medicine, , University of Oslo, ; Oslo, Norway
                © The Author(s) 2022

                Open AccessThis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

                : 20 February 2022
                : 24 May 2022
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2022

                Geriatric medicine
                nursing home,municipal acute care unit,antibiotic stewardship program,barriers,facilitators,urinary tract infection,life-prolonging treatment


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