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OBJECTIVE: To assess association of pharmacist gender with acceptance of antibiotic stewardship recommendations.
DESIGN: A retrospective evaluation of the Reducing Overuse of Antibiotics at Discharge (ROAD) Home intervention.
SETTING: The study was conducted from May to October 2019 in a single academic medical center.
PARTICIPANTS: The study included patients receiving antibiotics on a hospitalist service who were nearing discharge.
METHODS: During the intervention, clinical pharmacists (none who had specialist postgraduate infectious disease residency training) reviewed patients on antibiotics and led an antibiotic timeout (ie, structured conversation) prior to discharge to improve discharge antibiotic prescribing. We assessed the association of pharmacist gender with acceptance of timeout recommendations by hospitalists using logistic regression controlling for patient characteristics.
RESULTS: Over 6 months, pharmacists conducted 295 timeouts: 158 timeouts (53.6%) were conducted by 12 women, 137 (46.4%) were conducted by 8 men. Pharmacists recommended an antibiotic change in 82 timeouts (27.8%), of which 51 (62.2%) were accepted. Compared to male pharmacists, female pharmacists were less likely to recommend a discharge antibiotic change: 30 (19.0%) of 158 versus 52 (38.0%) of 137 (P < .001). Female pharmacists were also less likely to have a recommendation accepted: 10 (33.3%) of 30 versus 41 (8.8%) of 52 (P < .001). Thus, timeouts conducted by female versus male pharmacists were less likely to result in an antibiotic change: 10 (6.3%) of 158 versus 41 (29.9%) of 137 (P < .001). After adjustments, pharmacist gender remained significantly associated with whether recommended changes were accepted (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.10; 95%confidence interval [CI], 0.03-0.36 for female versus male pharmacists).
CONCLUSIONS: Antibiotic stewardship recommendations made by female clinical pharmacists were less likely to be accepted by hospitalists. Gender bias may play a role in the acceptance of clinical pharmacist recommendations, which could affect patient care and outcomes.