Primary Care Physicians' Attitudes and Perceptions Towards Antibiotic Resistance and Antibiotic Stewardship: A National Survey.
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<p><strong>Background: </strong>Outpatient antibiotic stewardship is needed to reduce inappropriate prescribing and minimize the development of resistant bacteria. We assessed primary care physicians' perceptions of antibiotic resistance, antibiotic use, and the need for stewardship activities.</p>
<p><strong>Methods: </strong>We conducted a national online survey of 1550 internal, family, and pediatric medicine physicians in the United States recruited from an opt-in panel of healthcare professionals. Descriptive statistics were generated for respondent demographics and question responses. Responses were also stratified by geographic region and medical specialty, with a χ test used to assess for differences.</p>
<p><strong>Results: </strong>More respondents agreed that antibiotic resistance was a problem in the United States (94%) than in their practice (55%) and that inappropriate antibiotic prescribing was a problem in outpatient settings (91%) than in their practice (37%). In addition, 60% agreed that they prescribed antibiotics more appropriately than their peers. Most respondents (91%) believed that antibiotic stewardship was appropriate in office-based practices, but they ranked antibiotic resistance as less important than other public health issues such as obesity, diabetes, opioids, smoking, and vaccine hesitancy. Approximately half (47%) believed they would need a lot of help to implement stewardship. Respondents indicated that they were likely to implement antibiotic stewardship efforts in response to feedback or incentives provided by payers or health departments.</p>
<p><strong>Conclusions: </strong>Primary care physicians generally did not recognize antibiotic resistance and inappropriate prescribing as issues in their practice. This poses a challenge for the success of outpatient stewardship. Healthcare stakeholders will need to explore opportunities for feedback and incentive activities to encourage stewardship uptake.</p>
Open Forum Infect Dis