Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
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Evaluating patient attitudes to increased patient engagement with antimicrobial stewardship: a quantitative survey

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-07-06, 16:41 authored by Gerry Hughes, Eilis O’Toole, Alida Fe Talento, Aisling O'LearyAisling O'Leary, Colm Bergin


Antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) describes interventions designed to optimize antimicrobial therapy, minimize adverse treatment consequences and reduce the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Previous research has investigated the patient’s role in healthcare infection prevention but the patient’s role in AMS has not been extensively explored.


To investigate the willingness of hospital inpatients to question staff about prudent antimicrobial use in an Irish hospital and evaluate the impact of patient and public involvement in research (PPI) on this study.


A survey was co-designed with the hospital Patient Representative Group (PRG) to evaluate patient willingness to engage with prudent antimicrobial treatment. A random sample of 200 inpatients was selected to self-complete the survey using pen and paper. PRG members provided feedback on their involvement.


Of the 200 inpatients randomly selected to participate, 120 did not fulfil the inclusion criteria. Of the remaining 80, 67 participated (response 84%). Median respondent age was 58 years, 30% were employed and 30% had a third-level education degree. Over 90% had not heard of AMS while just over 50% had not heard of AMR. Patients preferred asking factual questions rather than challenging ones but did not have a preference in asking questions of doctors compared with nurses. Older patients were less likely to ask questions. PRG members reported an overall positive experience as research collaborators.


Future patient-centred AMS interventions should empower patients to ask about antimicrobial treatment, in particular the older patient cohort. PPI is a valuable component of patient-centred research.


This study was supported by internal funding.



The original article is available at

Published Citation

Hughes G, O’Toole E, Fe Talento A, O’Leary A, Bergin C. Evaluating patient attitudes to increased patient engagement with antimicrobial stewardship: a quantitative survey. JAC-Antimicrobial Resistance. 2021;2(3):dlaa046

Publication Date

31 July 2020

PubMed ID



  • Beaumont Hospital
  • School of Pharmacy and Biomolecular Sciences

Research Area

  • Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Population Health and Health Services
  • Immunity, Infection and Inflammation


Oxford University Press (OUP)


  • Published Version (Version of Record)