Attitudes and Behaviours to Antimicrobial Prescribing following introduction of a Smartphone App

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Cameron, DW, Panesar, P, Jones, A, Aldous, A, Kranzer, K, Halpin, E, Fifer, H, Macrae, B, Curtis, C and Pollara, G. 2016. Attitudes and Behaviours to Antimicrobial Prescribing following introduction of a Smartphone App. [Online]. Figshare. Available from: 10.1371/journal.pone.0154202

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Our hospital replaced the format for delivering portable antimicrobial prescribing guidance from a paper-based pocket guide to a smartphone application (app). We used this opportunity to assess the relationship between its use and the attitudes and behaviours of antimicrobial prescribers. We used 2 structured cross-sectional questionnaires issued just prior to and 3 months following the launch of the smartphone app. Ordinal Likert scale responses to both frequencies of use and agreement statements permitted quantitative assessment of the relationship between variables. The smartphone app was used more frequently than the pocket guide it replaced (p < 0.01), and its increased use was associated with sentiments that the app was useful, easy to navigate and its content relevant. Users who used the app more frequently were more likely to agree that the app encouraged them to challenge inappropriate prescribing by their colleagues (p = 0.001) and were more aware of the importance of antimicrobial stewardship (p = 0.005). Reduced use of the app was associated with agreement that senior physicians' preferences for antimicrobial prescribing would irrespectively overrule guideline recommendations (p = 0.0002). Smartphone apps are an effective and acceptable format to deliver guidance on antimicrobial prescribing. Our findings suggest that they may empower users to challenge incorrect prescribing, breaking well-established behaviours, and thus supporting vital stewardship efforts in an era of increased antimicrobial resistance. Future work will need to focus on the direct impact on drug prescriptions as well as identifying barriers to implementing smartphone apps in other clinical settings.

Published in a 3rd party system Date: 25 April 2016
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Mode of data capture
Questionnaire: Fixed form
Data Creators(s): Cameron, DW, Panesar, P, Jones, A, Aldous, A, Kranzer, K, Halpin, E, Fifer, H, Macrae, B, Curtis, C and Pollara, G
LSHTM Faculty/Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Participating Institutions: University College London Hospitals, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Horizon Strategic Partners

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