UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Understanding decisions about antibiotic prescribing in ICU: an application of the Necessity Concerns Framework

Pandolfo, A; Horne, R; Jani, Y; Reader, TW; Bidad, N; Brealey, D; Enne, VI; ... Brett, SJ; + view all (2021) Understanding decisions about antibiotic prescribing in ICU: an application of the Necessity Concerns Framework. BMJ Quality and Safety 10.1136/bmjqs-2020-012479. (In press). Green open access

[img]
Preview
Text
Pandolfo_bmjqs-2020-012479.full.pdf - Published version

Download (669kB) | Preview

Abstract

Background: Antibiotics are extensively prescribed in intensive care units (ICUs), yet little is known about how antibiotic-related decisions are made in this setting. We explored how beliefs, perceptions and contextual factors influenced ICU clinicians’ antibiotic prescribing. / Methods: We conducted 4 focus groups and 34 semistructured interviews with clinicians involved in antibiotic prescribing in four English ICUs. Focus groups explored factors influencing prescribing, whereas interviews examined decision-making processes using two clinical vignettes. Data were analysed using thematic analysis, applying the Necessity Concerns Framework. / Results: Clinicians’ antibiotic decisions were influenced by their judgement of the necessity for prescribing/not prescribing, relative to their concerns about potential adverse consequences. Antibiotic necessity perceptions were strongly influenced by beliefs that antibiotics would protect patients from deterioration and themselves from the ethical and legal consequences of undertreatment. Clinicians also reported concerns about prescribing antibiotics. These generally centred on antimicrobial resistance; however, protecting the individual patient was prioritised over these societal concerns. Few participants identified antibiotic toxicity concerns as a key influencer. Clinical uncertainty often complicated balancing antibiotic necessity against concerns. Decisions to start or continue antibiotics often represented ‘erring on the side of caution’ as a protective response in uncertainty. This approach was reinforced by previous experiences of negative consequences (‘being burnt’) which motivated prescribing ‘just in case’ of an infection. Prescribing decisions were also context-dependent, exemplified by a lower perceived threshold to prescribe antibiotics out-of-hours, input from external team members and local prescribing norms. / Conclusion: Efforts to improve antibiotic stewardship should consider clinicians’ desire to protect with a prescription. Rapid molecular microbiology, with appropriate communication, may diminish clinicians’ fears of not prescribing or of using narrower-spectrum antibiotics.

Type: Article
Title: Understanding decisions about antibiotic prescribing in ICU: an application of the Necessity Concerns Framework
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1136/bmjqs-2020-012479
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjqs-2020-012479
Language: English
Additional information: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > UCL School of Pharmacy > Practice and Policy
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Infection and Immunity
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10128553
Downloads since deposit
22Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item