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1.
PLoS One ; 17(3): e0265493, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1759955

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The use of broad-spectrum antibiotics is widespread in patients with COVID-19 despite a low prevalence of bacterial co-infection, raising concerns for the accelerated development of antimicrobial resistance. Antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) is vital but there are limited randomized clinical trial data supporting AMS interventions such as prospective audit and feedback (PAF). High quality data to demonstrate safety and efficacy of AMS PAF in hospitalized COVID-19 patients are needed. METHODS AND DESIGN: This is a prospective, multi-center, non-inferiority, pragmatic randomized clinical trial evaluating AMS PAF intervention plus standard of care (SOC) versus SOC alone. We include patients with microbiologically confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection requiring hospital admission for severe COVID-19 pneumonia. Eligible ward beds and critical care unit beds will be randomized prior to study commencement at each participating site by computer-generated allocation sequence stratified by intensive care unit versus conventional ward in a 1:1 fashion. PAF intervention consists of real time review of antibacterial prescriptions and immediate written and verbal feedback to attending teams, performed by site-based AMS teams comprised of an AMS pharmacist and physician. The primary outcome is clinical status at post-admission day 15 measured using a 7-point ordinal scale. Patients will be followed for secondary outcomes out to 30 days. A total of 530 patients are needed to show a statistically significant non-inferiority, with 80% power and 2.5% one-sided alpha assuming standard deviation of 2 and the non-inferiority margin of 0.5. DISCUSSION: This study protocol presents a pragmatic clinical trial design with small unit cluster randomization for AMS intervention in hospitalized COVID-19 that will provide high-level evidence and may be adopted in other clinical situations. TRIAL REGISTRATION: This study is being performed at the University of Alberta and is registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT04896866) on May 17, 2021.


Subject(s)
Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Antimicrobial Stewardship , COVID-19/drug therapy , Antimicrobial Stewardship/methods , Clinical Protocols , Formative Feedback , Hospitalization , Humans , Medical Audit
3.
Pediatr Infect Dis J ; 41(3S): S3-S9, 2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1679889

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The growth of antimicrobial resistance worldwide has led to increased focus on antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) and infection prevention and control (IPC) measures, although primarily in high-income countries (HIC). We aimed to compare pediatric AMS and IPC resources/activities between low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) and HIC and to determine the barriers and priorities for AMS and IPC in LMIC as assessed by clinicians in those settings. METHODS: An online questionnaire was distributed to clinicians working in HIC and LMIC healthcare facilities in 2020. RESULTS: Participants were from 135 healthcare settings in 39 LMIC and 27 HIC. Formal AMS and IPC programs were less frequent in LMIC than HIC settings (AMS 42% versus 76% and IPC 58% versus 89%). Only 47% of LMIC facilities conducted audits of antibiotic use for pediatric patients, with less reliable availability of World Health Organization Access list antibiotics (29% of LMIC facilities). Hand hygiene promotion was the most common IPC intervention in both LMIC and HIC settings (82% versus 91%), although LMIC hospitals had more limited access to reliable water supply for handwashing and antiseptic hand rub. The greatest perceived barrier to pediatric AMS and IPC in both LMIC and HIC was lack of education: only 17% of LMIC settings had regular/required education on antimicrobial prescribing and only 25% on IPC. CONCLUSIONS: Marked differences exist in availability of AMS and IPC resources in LMIC as compared with HIC. A collaborative international approach is urgently needed to combat antimicrobial resistance, using targeted strategies that address the imbalance in global AMS and IPC resource availability and activities.


Subject(s)
Antimicrobial Stewardship/standards , Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice , Infection Control/methods , Pediatrics/standards , Developed Countries , Developing Countries , Health Facilities/statistics & numerical data , Health Resources/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Surveys and Questionnaires
4.
BMJ Open ; 12(2): e049867, 2022 02 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1714406

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the critical medical issues of the 21st century. Medical professionals are the primary prescribers of antimicrobials; their undergraduate education of antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) is considered one of the fundamental approaches in combating the issue of AMR. This education level provides a platform to bridge any gaps in their knowledge and competency in AMS. This study aims to develop an educational resource on microbes, hygiene and prudent antimicrobial use for the undergraduate medical programme. The guideline produced will then be assimilated into the existing curriculum which will help to improve the quality of education which in turn will improve rationale as the use of antimicrobials in the future. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: A three-step approach consensus approach will be adopted for this study for the development of a validated medical curriculum guideline on AMR. A preliminary curriculum for the programme will be drafted from reviews of published literature including syllabi as well as national and international guidelines. A total of 26 potential sources were found to be relevant, and selected for this study. Subsequently, the drafted curriculum will be subjected for validation via online surveys by various infectious disease experts. Finally, a Delphi technique will be employed to obtain consensus on heterogeneous findings to the revised curriculum. The quantitative and qualitative responses will be analysed and discussed among the panel of researchers. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: This study protocol has been approved by the Institute of Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee of Universiti Brunei Darussalam (Reference: UBD/PAPRSBIHSREC/2020/124). Informed consent declaration will be collected prior to data collections as indication of agreement of participation in the study. Results will be made available to medical educators and also researchers on AMR and stewardship. The results also will be disseminated at feedback sessions to officers at Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education, Brunei Darussalam.


Subject(s)
Anti-Infective Agents , Antimicrobial Stewardship , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Anti-Infective Agents/therapeutic use , Antimicrobial Stewardship/methods , Drug Resistance, Bacterial , Humans , Prospective Studies
5.
Eur J Hosp Pharm ; 29(2): 90-94, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1703505

ABSTRACT

AIMS AND OBJECTIVE: To compare antibiotic shortages in Europe between 2013 and 2020 and the views of hospital pharmacists on overcoming shortages via antimicrobial stewardship. METHODS: A series of European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP) surveys on medicine shortages, including a survey on the future crisis preparedness of hospital pharmacies, conducted between 2013 and 2020 were compared for the type of antibiotic shortages and respective mitigation strategy. These were analysed taking into account hospital pharmacists' views on antibiotics provided in the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) survey on healthcare professionals' knowledge, attitudes and behaviours about antibiotics, antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance from 2018. RESULTS: Since 2013 there has frequently been a shortage of antibiotics in European hospitals. In 2014, 67% (347/521) of hospital pharmacists experienced shortages of antimicrobials compared with 77% (1032/1348) in 2018, 63% (1158/1837) in 2019 and 37% (539/1466) in 2020. More than 80% of hospital pharmacists managed antibiotic shortages through substitution in 2014 (284/336) and 2018 (786/946), while this percentage was 40% (63/158) and 42% (620/1466) in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Although 72% (870/1204) of hospital pharmacists received information on how to avoid inappropriate antibiotic prescribing, dispensing and administration, only 37% (450/1204) changed their views and 28% (338/1204) changed their practice in steering antimicrobial treatment. CONCLUSION: Antibiotic shortages affect proper antimicrobial stewardship because of limited appropriate alternatives, taking into account patients' clinical condition and type of infection. While substitution remains a leading mitigating tool for antibiotic shortages, it carries numerous risks and the potential for antimicrobial resistance and suboptimal health outcomes.


Subject(s)
Antimicrobial Stewardship , Pharmacists , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Drug Resistance, Microbial , Humans , Surveys and Questionnaires
7.
BMJ Open ; 11(12): e051561, 2021 12 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1583103

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: Exploration of the factors that influence hospital doctors' antibiotic prescribing decisions when treating children with respiratory symptoms in UK emergency departments. METHODS: A qualitative study using semistructured interviews based on a critical incident technique with 21 physicians of different grades and specialties that treat children in the UK. Interviews were audio-recorded then transcribed verbatim and analysed using thematic analysis. RESULTS: Four themes were identified. These themes illustrate factors which influence clinician prescribing. The three principal themes were authorities, pressures and risk. The fourth transcending theme that ran through all themes was clinician awareness and complicity ('knowing but still doing'). CONCLUSIONS: Hospital doctors prescribe antibiotics even when they know they should not. This appears to be due to the influence of those in charge or external pressures experienced while weighing up the immediate and longer term risks but clinicians do this with full insight into their actions. These findings have implications for invested parties seeking to develop future antimicrobial stewardship programmes. It is recommended that stewardship interventions acknowledge and target these themes which may in turn facilitate behaviour change and antimicrobial prescribing practice in emergency departments.


Subject(s)
Anti-Bacterial Agents , Antimicrobial Stewardship , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Child , Emergency Service, Hospital , Humans , Practice Patterns, Physicians' , Qualitative Research , United Kingdom
8.
PLoS One ; 16(12): e0261368, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1571994

ABSTRACT

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global public health crisis that is now impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Little is known how COVID-19 risks influence people to consume antibiotics, particularly in contexts like Bangladesh where these pharmaceuticals can be purchased without a prescription. This paper identifies the social drivers of antibiotics use among home-based patients who have tested positive with SARS-CoV-2 or have COVID-19-like symptoms. Using qualitative telephone interviews, the research was conducted in two Bangladesh cities with 40 participants who reported that they had tested positive for coronavirus (n = 20) or had COVID-19-like symptoms (n = 20). Our analysis identified five themes in antibiotic use narratives: antibiotics as 'big' medicine; managing anxiety; dealing with social repercussions of COVID-19 infection; lack of access to COVID-19 testing and healthcare services; and informal sources of treatment advice. Antibiotics were seen to solve physical and social aspects of COVID-19 infection, with urgent ramifications for AMR in Bangladesh and more general implications for global efforts to mitigate AMR.


Subject(s)
Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Antimicrobial Stewardship/methods , COVID-19/epidemiology , Drug Resistance, Bacterial , Adult , Bangladesh , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Qualitative Research , Social Factors
9.
Clin Microbiol Infect ; 28(4): 491-501, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1540547

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: The prevalence of bacterial infection in patients with COVID-19 is low, however, empiric antibiotic use is high. Risk stratification may be needed to minimize unnecessary empiric antibiotic use. OBJECTIVE: To identify risk factors and microbiology associated with respiratory and bloodstream bacterial infection in patients with COVID-19. DATA SOURCES: We searched MEDLINE, OVID Epub and EMBASE for published literature up to 5 February 2021. STUDY ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA: Studies including at least 50 patients with COVID-19 in any healthcare setting. METHODS: We used a validated ten-item risk of bias tool for disease prevalence. The main outcome of interest was the proportion of COVID-19 patients with bloodstream and/or respiratory bacterial co-infection and secondary infection. We performed meta-regression to identify study population factors associated with bacterial infection including healthcare setting, age, comorbidities and COVID-19 medication. RESULTS: Out of 33 345 studies screened, 171 were included in the final analysis. Bacterial infection data were available from 171 262 patients. The prevalence of co-infection was 5.1% (95% CI 3.6-7.1%) and secondary infection was 13.1% (95% CI 9.8-17.2%). There was a higher odds of bacterial infection in studies with a higher proportion of patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) (adjusted OR 18.8, 95% CI 6.5-54.8). Female sex was associated with a lower odds of secondary infection (adjusted OR 0.73, 95% CI 0.55-0.97) but not co-infection (adjusted OR 1.05, 95% CI 0.80-1.37). The most common organisms isolated included Staphylococcus aureus, coagulase-negative staphylococci and Klebsiella species. CONCLUSIONS: While the odds of respiratory and bloodstream bacterial infection are low in patients with COVID-19, meta-regression revealed potential risk factors for infection, including ICU setting and mechanical ventilation. The risk for secondary infection is substantially greater than the risk for co-infection in patients with COVID-19. Understanding predictors of co-infection and secondary infection may help to support improved antibiotic stewardship in patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Antimicrobial Stewardship , Bacterial Infections , COVID-19 , Respiratory Tract Infections , Bacteria , Bacterial Infections/drug therapy , Bacterial Infections/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Respiratory Tract Infections/drug therapy
10.
J Clin Pharm Ther ; 47(2): 243-247, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1511340

ABSTRACT

WHAT IS KNOWN AND OBJECTIVE: Procalcitonin (PCT) levels rise in systemic inflammation, especially if bacterial in origin. COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, presents with acute respiratory distress syndrome. Elevated procalcitonin in COVID-19 is considered as a marker for severity of disease. There is no study available that indicates whether elevated PCT in COVID-19 is associated with inflammation or superimposed bacterial infection. The objective of this study is to evaluate the association between PCT levels and superadded bacterial infection, and the effect of discontinuation of antibiotic in the low PCT (<0.25 ng/ml) group on patients' outcomes. METHODS: A retrospective chart review of patients admitted with COVID-19 pneumonia at a single tertiary care centre. We collected information on demographics, co-morbidities, PCT level, antibiotic use, culture results for bacterial infection, hospital length of stay (LOS) and mortality. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS: Continuous variables were summarized with the sample median, interquartile range, mean and range. Categorical variables were summarized with number and percentage of patients. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: We studied a total of 147 patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. 101 (69%) patients had a low PCT level (< 0.25 ng/ml). Bacterial culture results were negative for all patients, except 1 who had a markedly elevated PCT level (141.ng/ml). In patients with low PCT, 42% received no antibiotics, 59% received antibiotics initially, 32 (57%) patients antibiotic discontinued early (within 24 hours) and their culture remained negative for bacterial infections during hospitalizations. LOS was shorter (6 days in low PCT group compared to 9 days) in high PCT group. LOS was 1 day shorter (5 days vs 6 days) in no antibiotic group compared to antibiotic group. Our study examines the association between PCT level and superadded bacterial infection in COVID-19 pneumonia. Our results demonstrate that most patients admitted with COVID-19 have a low PCT (<0.25 ng/ml), which suggests no superadded bacterial infection and supports the previously published literature regarding low PCT in viral pneumonia. WHAT IS NEW AND CONCLUSION: Procalcitonin level remains low in the absence of bacterial infection. Early de-escalation/discontinuation of antibiotics is safe without adverse outcomes in COVID-19 pneumonia. Early de-escalation/discontinuation of antibiotics is associated with lower LOS.


Subject(s)
Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Antimicrobial Stewardship/methods , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/drug therapy , Procalcitonin/blood , Withholding Treatment , Aged , Biomarkers/blood , Female , Humans , Length of Stay/statistics & numerical data , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
11.
Int J Infect Dis ; 113: 103-108, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1506621

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has had a profound and often devastating impact on global healthcare systems. Healthcare systems have had to repurpose programs and staff as part of COVID-19 relief efforts. The infrastructure and skilled personnel of antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) have been utilized in new ways as part of COVID-19 pandemic response efforts. A critical focus of ASPs both before and during the pandemic has been on limiting the development of antimicrobial resistance. Fortunately, existing data indicate that rates of bacterial co-infection are relatively low and ASPs should continue aggressive efforts to limit unnecessary antimicrobial use. ASPs have taken a lead role in COVID-19 focused guideline creation and curation, as well as in helping to steward access to potential novel therapeutic agents. Disparities in ASP program resources and personnel exist, and ASP activities focused on the COVID-19 response should be tailored to individual settings. There is an urgent need for research to help inform ASP best practices within pandemic response efforts that take into account local resources. Investment in infrastructure and personnel is urgently needed both in the context of current relief efforts and to prepare for future pandemics.


Subject(s)
Antimicrobial Stewardship , Bacterial Infections , COVID-19 , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Bacterial Infections/drug therapy , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
12.
BMJ Glob Health ; 6(11)2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1504509

ABSTRACT

This article uses quantitative and qualitative approaches to review 75 years of international policy reports on antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Our review of 248 policy reports and expert consultation revealed waves of political attention and repeated reframings of AMR as a policy object. AMR emerged as an object of international policy-making during the 1990s. Until then, AMR was primarily defined as a challenge of human and agricultural domains within the Global North that could be overcome via 'rational' drug use and selective restrictions. While a growing number of reports jointly addressed human and agricultural AMR selection, international organisations (IOs) initially focused on whistleblowing and reviewing data. Since 2000, there has been a marked shift in the ecological and geographic focus of AMR risk scenarios. The Global South and One Health (OH) emerged as foci of AMR reports. Using the deterritorialised language of OH to frame AMR as a Southern risk made global stewardship meaningful to donors and legitimised pressure on low-income and middle-income countries to adopt Northern stewardship and surveillance frameworks. It also enabled IOs to move from whistleblowing to managing governance frameworks for antibiotic stewardship. Although the environmental OH domain remains neglected, realisation of the complexity of necessary interventions has increased the range of topics targeted by international action plans. Investment nonetheless continues to focus on biomedical innovation and tends to leave aside broader socioeconomic issues. Better knowledge of how AMR framings have evolved is key to broadening participation in international stewardship going forward.


Subject(s)
Antimicrobial Stewardship , Drug Resistance, Bacterial , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Humans
13.
Am J Trop Med Hyg ; 105(6): 1519-1520, 2021 10 29.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1497591

ABSTRACT

In this study, we described the proportion of COVID-19 patients started on antibiotics empirically and the work-ups performed to diagnose bacterial superinfection. We used a retrospective cohort study design involving medical records of symptomatic, hospitalized COVID-19 patients who were admitted to these centers. A total of 481 patients were included, with a median age of 41.0 years (interquartile range, 28-58.5 years). A total of 72.1% (N = 347) of COVID-19 patients received antibiotics, either before or during admission. This is troublesome because none of the patients' bacterial culture or inflammatory markers, such as the erythrocyte sedimentation rate or C-reactive protein, were evaluated, and only 73 (15.2%) underwent radiological investigations. Therefore, national COVID-19 guidelines should emphasize the rational use of antibiotics for the treatment of COVID-19, a primarily viral disease. Integrating antimicrobial stewardship into the COVID-19 response and expanding microbiological capacities in low-income countries are indispensable. Otherwise, we risk one pandemic aggravating another.


Subject(s)
Anti-Bacterial Agents/administration & dosage , COVID-19/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Antimicrobial Stewardship , Bacterial Infections/diagnosis , Bacterial Infections/drug therapy , Bacterial Infections/epidemiology , Cohort Studies , Ethiopia/epidemiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Practice Guidelines as Topic , Retrospective Studies , Superinfection/diagnosis , Superinfection/drug therapy
14.
Antimicrob Resist Infect Control ; 10(1): 155, 2021 10 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496232

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We defined the frequency of respiratory community-acquired bacterial co-infection in patients with COVID-19, i.e. patients with a positive SARS-CoV-2 PCR or a COVID-19 Reporting and Data System (CO-RADS) score ≥ 4, based on a complete clinical assessment, including prior antibiotic use, clinical characteristics, inflammatory markers, chest computed tomography (CT) results and microbiological test results. METHODS: Our retrospective study was conducted within a cohort of prospectively included patients admitted for COVID-19 in our tertiary medical centres between 1-3-2020 and 1-6-2020. A multidisciplinary study team developed a diagnostic protocol to retrospectively categorize patients as unlikely, possible or probable bacterial co-infection based on clinical, radiological and microbiological parameters in the first 72 h of admission. Within the three categories, we summarized patient characteristics and antibiotic consumption. RESULTS: Among 281 included COVID-19 patients, bacterial co-infection was classified as unlikely in 233 patients (82.9%), possible in 35 patients (12.4%) and probable in 3 patients (1.1%). Ten patients (3.6%) could not be classified due to inconclusive data. Within 72 h of hospital admission, 81% of the total study population and 78% of patients classified as unlikely bacterial co-infection received antibiotics. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 patients are unlikely to have a respiratory community-acquired bacterial co-infection. This study underpins recommendations for restrictive use of antibacterial drugs in patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Bacterial Infections/epidemiology , COVID-19/diagnosis , Coinfection/epidemiology , Community-Acquired Infections/epidemiology , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia/epidemiology , Adult , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Antimicrobial Stewardship , Bacterial Infections/drug therapy , Bacterial Infections/microbiology , COVID-19/complications , Cohort Studies , Coinfection/drug therapy , Community-Acquired Infections/microbiology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Wien Klin Wochenschr ; 133(21-22): 1208-1214, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1451984

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Antimicrobial stewardship is crucial to avoid antimicrobial resistance in microbes and adverse drug effects in patients. In respiratory infections, however, viral pneumonia is difficult to distinguish from bacterial pneumonia, which explains the overuse of antibiotic therapy in this indication. CASES: Five cases of lung consolidation are presented. Lung ultrasound, in conjunction with procalcitonin levels, were used to exclude or corroborate bacterial pneumonia. CONCLUSION: Lung ultrasound is easy to learn and perform and is helpful in guiding diagnosis in unclear cases of pneumonia and may also offer new insights into the spectrum of certain virus diseases. The use of lung ultrasound can raise awareness in clinicians of the need for antimicrobial stewardship and may help to avoid the unnecessary use of antibiotics.


Subject(s)
Antimicrobial Stewardship , Pneumonia, Viral , Respiratory Tract Infections , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Humans , Lung/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnostic imaging , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Procalcitonin
16.
Clin Ther ; 43(10): 1654-1667, 2021 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1474433

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Behavioral economics recognizes that contextual, psychological, social, and emotional factors powerfully influence decision-making. Behavioral economics has the potential to provide a better understanding of, and, through subtle environmental changes, or "nudges," improve persistent quality-of-care challenges, like ambulatory antibiotic overprescribing. Despite decades of admonitions and educational initiatives, in the United States, up to 50% of ambulatory antibiotic prescriptions remain inappropriate or not associated with a diagnosis. METHODS: We conducted a Medline search and performed a narrative review that examined the use of behavioral economics to understand the rationale for, and improvement of, ambulatory antibiotic prescribing. FINDINGS: Clinicians prescribe antibiotics inappropriately because of perceived patient demand, to maintain patient satisfaction, diagnostic uncertainty, or time pressure, among other reasons. Behavioral economics-informed approaches offer additional improvements in antibiotic prescribing beyond clinician education and communication training. Precommitment, in which clinicians publicize their intent to prescribe antibiotics "only when they are absolutely necessary," leverages clinicians' self-conception and a desire to act in a manner consistent with public statements. Precommitment was associated with a 20% absolute reduction in the inappropriate antibiotic prescribing for acute respiratory infections. Justification alerts, in which clinicians must provide a brief written rationale for prescribing antibiotics, leverages social accountability, redefines the status quo as an active choice, and helps clinicians to shift from fast to slow, careful thinking. With justification alerts, the absolute rate of inappropriate antibiotic prescribing decreased from 23% to 5%. Peer comparison, in which clinicians receive feedback comparing their performance to their top-performing peers, provides evidence of improved performance and leverages peoples' desire to conform to social norms. Peer comparison decreased absolute inappropriate antibiotic prescribing rates from 20% to 4%, a decrease that persisted for 12 months after the end of the intervention. Also, a one-time peer-comparison letter from a high-profile messenger to primary care practices with high rates of prescribing antibiotics, there was a 6-month, 3% decrease inantibiotic prescribing. Future directions in applying behavioral economics to the inappropriate antibiotic prescribing include paying careful attention to design details; improving intervention effectiveness and durability; making harms salient; participants' involvement in the development of interventions (the "Ikea effect"); factoring in patient satisfaction; and patient-facing nudges about antibiotic use and care-seeking. In addition, the COVID pandemic could aid in ambulatory antibiotic prescribing improvements due to changing cognitive frames around respiratory symptom evaluation and antibiotic prescribing. IMPLICATIONS: To improve ambulatory antibiotic prescribing, several behavioral economics-informed approaches-especially precommitment, justification alerts, and peer comparison-have reduced the rates of inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics to low levels.


Subject(s)
Antimicrobial Stewardship , COVID-19 , Respiratory Tract Infections , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Economics, Behavioral , Humans , Inappropriate Prescribing/prevention & control , Practice Patterns, Physicians' , Respiratory Tract Infections/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Int J Antimicrob Agents ; 58(6): 106453, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1466380

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: This retrospective cohort study examined the impact of the pandemic on antimicrobial use (AU) in South Carolina hospitals. METHODS: Antimicrobial use in days of therapy (DOT) per 1000 days-present was evaluated in 17 hospitals in South Carolina. Matched-pairs mean difference was used to compare AU during the pandemic (March-June 2020) with that during the same months in 2019 in hospitals that did and did not admit patients with COVID-19. RESULTS: There was a 6.6% increase in overall AU in the seven hospitals that admitted patients with COVID-19 (from 530.9 to 565.8; mean difference (MD) 34.9 DOT/1000 days-present; 95% CI 4.3, 65.6; P = 0.03). There was no significant change in overall AU in the remaining 10 hospitals that did not admit patients with COVID-19 (MD 6.0 DOT/1000 days-present; 95% CI -55.5, 67.6; P = 0.83). Most of the increase in AU in the seven hospitals that admitted patients with COVID-19 was observed in broad-spectrum antimicrobial agents. A 16.4% increase was observed in agents predominantly used for hospital-onset infections (from 122.3 to 142.5; MD 20.1 DOT/1000 days-present; 95% CI 11.1, 29.1; P = 0.002). There was also a 9.9% increase in the use of anti-methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) agents (from 66.7 to 73.3; MD 6.6 DOT/1000 days-present; 95% CI 2.3, 10.8; P = 0.01). CONCLUSION: The COVID-19 pandemic appears to drive overall and broad-spectrum antimicrobial use in South Carolina hospitals admitting patients with COVID-19. Additional antimicrobial stewardship resources are needed to curtail excessive antimicrobial use in hospitals to prevent subsequent increases in antimicrobial resistance and Clostridioides difficile infection rates, given the continuing nature of the pandemic.


Subject(s)
Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Cross Infection/drug therapy , Drug Utilization Review/statistics & numerical data , Pandemics , Antimicrobial Stewardship , COVID-19 , Clostridium Infections/drug therapy , Hospitals , Humans , Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus/drug effects , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , South Carolina
18.
BMJ Open ; 11(10): e052552, 2021 10 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1462969

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: Almost 60% of antibiotics in frail elderly are prescribed for alleged urinary tract infections (UTIs). A substantial part of this comprises prescriptions in case of non-specific symptoms or asymptomatic bacteriuria, for which the latest guidelines promote restrictiveness with antibiotics. We aim to reduce inappropriate antibiotic use for UTIs through an antibiotic stewardship intervention (ASI) that encourages to prescribe according to these guidelines. To develop an effective ASI, we first need a better understanding of the complex decision-making process concerning suspected UTIs in frail elderly. Moreover, the implementation approach requires tailoring to the heterogeneous elderly care setting. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: First, we conduct a qualitative study to explore factors contributing to antibiotic prescribing for UTIs in frail elderly, using semi-structured interviews with general practitioners, nursing staff, patients and informal caregivers. Next, we perform a pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trial in elderly care organisations. A multifaceted ASI is implemented in the intervention group; the control group receives care as usual. The ASI is centred around a decision tool that promotes restrictive antibiotic use, supported by a toolbox with educational materials. For the implementation, we use a modified participatory-action-research approach, guided by the results of the qualitative study. The primary outcome is the number of antibiotic prescriptions for suspected UTIs. We aim to recruit 34 clusters with in total 680 frail elderly residents ≥70 years. Data collection takes place during a 5-month baseline period and a 7-month follow-up period. Finally, we perform a process evaluation. The study has been delayed for 6 months due to COVID-19 and is expected to end in July 2021. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approvals and/or waivers were obtained from the ethical committees in Poland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden. The results will be disseminated through publication in peer-reviewed journals and conference presentations. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: NCT03970356.


Subject(s)
Antimicrobial Stewardship , COVID-19 , Respiratory Tract Infections , Urinary Tract Infections , Aged , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , Frail Elderly , Humans , Inappropriate Prescribing/prevention & control , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Respiratory Tract Infections/drug therapy , SARS-CoV-2 , Urinary Tract Infections/drug therapy
19.
Infection ; 50(2): 423-436, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1460516

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: Reported antibiotic use in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is far higher than the actual rate of reported bacterial co- and superinfection. A better understanding of antibiotic therapy in COVID-19 is necessary. METHODS: 6457 SARS-CoV-2-infected cases, documented from March 18, 2020, until February 16, 2021, in the LEOSS cohort were analyzed. As primary endpoint, the correlation between any antibiotic treatment and all-cause mortality/progression to the next more advanced phase of disease was calculated for adult patients in the complicated phase of disease and procalcitonin (PCT) ≤ 0.5 ng/ml. The analysis took the confounders gender, age, and comorbidities into account. RESULTS: Three thousand, six hundred twenty-seven cases matched all inclusion criteria for analyses. For the primary endpoint, antibiotic treatment was not correlated with lower all-cause mortality or progression to the next more advanced (critical) phase (n = 996) (both p > 0.05). For the secondary endpoints, patients in the uncomplicated phase (n = 1195), regardless of PCT level, had no lower all-cause mortality and did not progress less to the next more advanced (complicated) phase when treated with antibiotics (p > 0.05). Patients in the complicated phase with PCT > 0.5 ng/ml and antibiotic treatment (n = 286) had a significantly increased all-cause mortality (p = 0.029) but no significantly different probability of progression to the critical phase (p > 0.05). CONCLUSION: In this cohort, antibiotics in SARS-CoV-2-infected patients were not associated with positive effects on all-cause mortality or disease progression. Additional studies are needed. Advice of local antibiotic stewardship- (ABS-) teams and local educational campaigns should be sought to improve rational antibiotic use in COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
Antimicrobial Stewardship , COVID-19 , Adult , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Disease Progression , Humans , SARS-CoV-2
20.
J Infect Dis ; 224(6): 949-955, 2021 09 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1429240

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Early in the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, there was a concern over possible increase in antibiotic use due to coinfections among COVID-19 patients in the community. Here, we evaluate the changes in nationwide use of broad-spectrum antibiotics during the COVID-19 epidemic in South Korea. METHODS: We obtained national reimbursement data on the prescription of antibiotics, including penicillin with ß-lactamase inhibitors, cephalosporins, fluoroquinolones, and macrolides. We examined the number of antibiotic prescriptions compared with the previous 3 years in the same period from August to July. To quantify the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on antibiotic use, we developed a regression model adjusting for changes of viral acute respiratory tract infections (ARTIs), which are an important factor driving antibiotic use. RESULTS: During the COVID-19 epidemic in South Korea, the broad-spectrum antibiotic use dropped by 15%-55% compared to the previous 3 years. Overall reduction in antibiotic use adjusting for ARTIs was estimated to be 14%-30%, with a larger impact in children. CONCLUSIONS: Our study found that broad-spectrum antibiotic use was substantially reduced during the COVID-19 epidemic in South Korea. This reduction can be in part due to reduced ARTIs as a result of stringent public health interventions including social distancing measures.


Subject(s)
Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/administration & dosage , Broadly Neutralizing Antibodies/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , Public Health , Respiratory Tract Infections/drug therapy , Adolescent , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Antimicrobial Stewardship , Cephalosporins , Child , Child, Preschool , Female , Fluoroquinolones , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Macrolides , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Penicillins , Republic of Korea/epidemiology , Respiratory Tract Infections/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Young Adult
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