Making decisions about antibiotic use in the Australian primary healthcare sector

Lum, Elaine, Graves, Nicholas, Page, Katie, Doust, Jenny, Nissen, Lisa, & Whitty, Jenny (2015) Making decisions about antibiotic use in the Australian primary healthcare sector. In 16th Annual Scientific Meeting (Antimicrobials 2015), 26 - 28 February 2015, Brisbane, Qld.



Australia has one of the highest rates of antibiotic use amongst OECD countries. Data from the Australian primary healthcare sector suggests unnecessary antibiotics were prescribed for self-resolving conditions. We need to better understand what drives general practitioners (GPs) to prescribe antibiotics, consumers to seek antibiotics, and pharmacists to fill repeat antibiotic prescriptions. It is also not clear how these individuals trade-off between the possible benefits that antibiotics may provide in the immediate/short term, against the longer term societal risk of antimicrobial resistance.

This project investigates what factors drive decisions to use antibiotics for GPs, pharmacists and consumers, and how these individuals discount the future.


Factors will be gleaned from published literature and from semi-structured interviews, to inform the development of Discrete Choice Experiments (DCEs). Three DCEs will be constructed – one for each group of interest – to allow investigation of which factors are more important in influencing (a) GPs to prescribe antibiotics, (b) consumers to seek antibiotics, and (c) pharmacists to fill legally valid but old or repeat prescriptions of antibiotics. Regression analysis will be conducted to understand the relative importance of these factors. A Time Trade Off exercise will be developed to investigate how these individuals discount the future.


Findings from the DCEs will provide an insight into which factors are more important in driving decision making in antibiotic use for GPs, pharmacists and consumers. Findings from the Time Trade Off exercise will show what individuals are willing to trade for preserving the miracle of antibiotics.


Research findings will contribute to existing national programs to bring about a reduction in inappropriate use of antibiotic in Australia. Specifically, influencing how key messages and public health campaigns are crafted, and clinical education and empowerment of GPs and pharmacists to play a more responsive role as stewards of antibiotic use in the community.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 93464
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Antibiotic, Decision making, Antimicrobial resistance, Primary healthcare, General Practitioner, Community Pharmacist, Consumer
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Primary Health Care (111717)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Clinical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Deposited On: 08 Mar 2016 05:44
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2016 00:56

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