Background: Antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) programmes are established across the world to treat infections efficiently, prioritize patient safety, and reduce the emergence of antimicrobial resistance. One of the core elements of AMS programmes is guidance to support and direct physicians in making efficient, safe and optimal decisions when prescribing antibiotics. To optimize and tailor AMS, we need a better understanding of prescribing physicians’ experience with AMS guidance. Objectives: To explore the prescribing physicians’ user experience, needs and targeted improvements of AMS guidance in hospital settings. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 36 prescribing physicians/AMS guidance users from hospital settings in Canada, Germany, Israel, Latvia, Norway and Sweden as a part of the international PILGRIM trial. A socioecological model was applied as an overarching conceptual framework for the study. Results: Research participants were seeking more AMS guidance than is currently available to them. The most important aspects and targets for improvement of AMS guidance were: (i) quality of guidelines; (ii) availability of infectious diseases specialists; and (iii) suitability of AMS guidance to department context. Conclusions: Achieving prudent antibiotic use not only depends on individual and collective levels of commitment to follow AMS guidance but also on the quality, availability and suitability of the guidance itself. More substantial commitment from stakeholders is needed to allocate the required resources for delivering high-quality, available and relevant AMS guidance to make sure that the prescribers’ AMS needs are met.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberdlae039
JournalJAC-Antimicrobial Resistance
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2024


FundersFunder number
Joint Programming Initiative on Antimicrobial Resistance


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