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A survey of medical staff attitudes to an antibiotic approval and stewardship programme

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Abstract Background:

Antibiotic stewardship programmes (ASPs) are advocated to ensure appropriate antimicrobial use; with short-term evidence they may improve outcomes, limit adverse effects, encourage cost-effectiveness and reduce antibiotic resistance. At Concord Hospital, a 450-bed acute care hospital, we have used a telephone-based ASP for 15 years. There may be differences in attitudes to the ASP by prescribers, which may influence its long-term efficacy. Method:

A 40-item self-administered questionnaire was sent to 190 junior and 250 specialist medical staff. We aimed to elicit medical staff attitudes to the ASP's utility, educational value, effect on patient care and ease of use. Results:

One hundred and sixty-four completed questionnaires were returned. Most (82%, 95% confidence interval (95%CI) 75–87%) clinicians had used the ASP, 98% of whom believed it to be a reasonable system. Most staff (85%, 95%CI 79–90%) believed that seeking approval made teams think carefully about antibiotic choice, agreed it provided helpful advice (91%, 95%CI 85–95%) and that the approval system provided useful advice and was educational (88%, 95%CI 81–92%). The ASP was felt time-consuming and detracting from clinical duties by 33% (95%CI 26–41%), while 10% (95%CI 5.8–15.7%) believed it undervalued intuition and experience. Few (19%, 95%CI 13–25%, P < 0.0001) clinicians believed it infringed their autonomy. The advice given through the ASP was believed by most (89%, 95%CI 81–92%) to improve patient outcomes. Conclusion:

The ASP was surprisingly well supported by all levels of staff, and reinforced the benefits of maintaining an ASP policy.
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Keywords: antibiotic; prescribing; resistance; restriction; stewardship

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Pharmacy Department, Concord Hospital, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, and 2: Hospital Infection Epidemiology & Surveillance Unit, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia 3: Department of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases and

Publication date: 2009-10-01

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