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Article

Improving Our Understanding and Practice of Antibiotic Prescribing: A Study on the Use of Social Norms Feedback Letters in Primary Care

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Department of Social Care and Social Work, Faculty of Health, Psychology and Social Care, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester M15 6GX, UK
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Public Health England Behavioural Insights, Wellington House, 133-155 Waterloo Road, London SE1 8UG, UK
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Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford, Radcliffe Humanities, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6GG, UK
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Centre for Health Informatics, Division of Informatics, Imaging and Data Science, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, The University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9YP, UK
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Utrecht Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Utrecht University, Heidelberglaan 8, 3584 CS Utrecht, The Netherlands
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(5), 2602; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052602
Received: 8 February 2021 / Revised: 2 March 2021 / Accepted: 3 March 2021 / Published: 5 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
In the UK, 81% of all antibiotics are prescribed in primary care. Previous research has shown that a letter from the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) giving social norms feedback to General Practitioners (GPs) whose practices are high prescribers of antibiotics can decrease antibiotic prescribing. The aim of this study was to understand the best way for engaging with GPs to deliver feedback on prescribing behaviour that could be replicated at scale; and explore GP information requirements that would be needed to support prescribing behaviour change. Two workshops were devised utilising a participatory approach. Discussion points were noted and agreed with each group of participants. Minutes of the workshops and observation notes were taken. Data were analysed thematically. Four key themes emerged through the data analysis: (1) Our day-to-day reality, (2) GPs are competitive, (3) Face-to-face support, and (4) Empowerment and engagement. Our findings suggest there is potential for using behavioural science in the form of social norms as part of a range of engagement strategies in reducing antibiotic prescribing within primary care. This should include tailored and localised data with peer-to-peer comparisons. View Full-Text
Keywords: antibiotics; social norms; prescribing behaviour; feedback; primary care antibiotics; social norms; prescribing behaviour; feedback; primary care
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MDPI and ACS Style

Steels, S.; Gold, N.; Palin, V.; Chadborn, T.; van Staa, T.P. Improving Our Understanding and Practice of Antibiotic Prescribing: A Study on the Use of Social Norms Feedback Letters in Primary Care. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 2602. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052602

AMA Style

Steels S, Gold N, Palin V, Chadborn T, van Staa TP. Improving Our Understanding and Practice of Antibiotic Prescribing: A Study on the Use of Social Norms Feedback Letters in Primary Care. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(5):2602. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052602

Chicago/Turabian Style

Steels, Stephanie, Natalie Gold, Victoria Palin, Tim Chadborn, and Tjeerd Pieter van Staa. 2021. "Improving Our Understanding and Practice of Antibiotic Prescribing: A Study on the Use of Social Norms Feedback Letters in Primary Care" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 5: 2602. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18052602

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