Tarrant Krockow BMJQS editorial REVISED 280621.docx (30.15 kB)
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Antibiotic overuse: managing uncertainty and mitigating against overtreatment

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journal contribution
posted on 18.08.2021, 10:11 by Carolyn Tarrant, Eva M Krockow
Antibiotic overuse contributes to the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Despite local, national and global initiatives to target the problem, reducing overuse is challenging. Levels of antibiotic prescribing in hospitals in the UK are still rising year on year.1 Pandolfo et al’s2 study in this issue of BMJ Quality & Safety provides new insights into this problem by studying clinician decision-making about antibiotic prescribing in intensive care units, using a framework from psychology: the Necessity Concerns Framework. They explored how clinicians balanced the perceived necessity of antibiotics to protect the patient from deteriorating or dying from severe infection, against concerns about the actual or potential adverse consequences (including toxicity and the longer-term threat of AMR). Their findings highlight that clinical uncertainty is a complicating factor in this balancing act. When clinicians were unsure about the underlying cause of symptoms, they preferred to ‘err on the side of caution’ and give the patient antibiotics just to be safe. [Opening paragraph]

History

Citation

BMJ Quality & Safety, 20 July 2021. doi: 10.1136/bmjqs-2021-013615

Author affiliation

Department of Health Sciences, University of Leicester

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

BMJ Quality and Safety

Publisher

BMJ Publishing Group

issn

2044-5415

Acceptance date

03/07/2021

Copyright date

2021

Available date

18/08/2021

Language

en

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