GCU paper hailed a top 20 page-turner

A research paper analysing public awareness of antimicrobial resistance has been named as one of the top 20 most downloaded papers in the prestigious British Journal of Health Psychology.

The research, led by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) senior lecturer in psychology Dr Jo McParland, is entitled ‘What are the ‘active ingredients’ of interventions targeting the public’s engagement with antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and how might they work?’.

It was produced by academics including members of the GCU Safeguarding Health through Infection Prevention (SHIP) team and was among the most read papers between 2017 and 2018.

Changing public awareness of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global public health priority and a systematic review of interventions that targeted public AMR awareness and associated behaviour was previously conducted. The focus of this paper was to identify the active content of these interventions to examine how they work to change public attitudes and behaviour.

Lead author Dr McParland said: “I am delighted our paper has achieved this impact in the field of health psychology.

“We have used a novel approach to look at the content of these interventions, through looking for the presence of theory and techniques for changing knowledge and behaviour that might be present within the interventions to help explain how they work. The aim of the interventions was to increase public knowledge about AMR. Our analysis of the content of the interventions found this was commonly achieved through providing information about the health consequences of the misuse of antibiotics and providing information about how to take antibiotics appropriately.

We provide important signposts for future work to develop and report effective interventions in the field of AMR and other areas of health research that often fail to report the mechanisms of action within interventions”.

To access the full article follow this link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29804314

SHIP raise awareness of antimicrobial resistance -World Antibiotic Awareness Week

This is World Antibiotic Awareness Week and to celebrate the Safeguarding Health through Infection Prevention (SHIP) researchers at GCU thought we’d tell you a little bit about what we’ve been doing to get involved.

World Antibiotic Awareness Week is organised by the World Health Organization and has been running since November 2015. The campaign aims to spread the word about the role we all have in reducing the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance. Each year, the SHIP group observes the week by taking part in some kind of activity to raise public awareness of the problem and this year this took the form of a debate within the local community.

Queens Cross Housing Association run “Food for Thought” community seminars and GCU’s SHIP team took part in the first of these, entitled, “Whose superbug is it anyway?” Members of the team posed as a farmer, a vet, a doctor, a mum and a pharmaceutical representative to argue about who is responsible for the superbug crisis and to discuss what we can do about it.

The public were invited to come along and listen and join in the discussion, with time for questions and opinions at the end. The SHIP group also took along our interactive hand hygiene machines to demonstrate how to perform hand hygiene effectively as shown from our research.  Accurately performed hand hygiene is an important way in which the public could protect themselves from some infections, minimising the need for antibiotics and so contributing to the preservation of antibiotics for years to come.

Our work aims to have an impact on antibiotic resistance through the prevention of infection not only with the public but with healthcare and vetinary professionals too. We have a team of psychologists whose research focusses on the influence of behaviour, specifically looking at public awareness, and the antibiotic prescribing behaviour of vets and nurse prescribers.  A grant was received from Health Protection Scotland to work with them in analysing how awareness and behaviours are measured and whether certain interventions are effective at changing behaviour.

More information about our research and community engagement can be found on our website https://www.gcu.ac.uk/ship ,our blog and by following us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SHIPGCU

An integrated way to fight antimicrobial resistance

Last month the 2nd UK One Health Report was published. This reports on both human and animal antibiotic use, sales and resistance during 2013. Professor Jacqui Reilly was one of the report contributors. It aims to encourage further joint working between human & animal sectors,  identify the emerging and current antibiotic resistance threats, identify differences in surveillance methodology and data gaps, evaluate available data and assess the relationship between antibiotic sales, use and resistance across the two sectors and finally develop recommendations to improve the surveillance of antibiotic use and resistance in humans and animals

For the three bacteria in this report (Escherichia coli, Campylobacter and Salmonella), significant resistance is identified from human and animal surveillance across a wide range of antibiotics. The report’s recommendations include those for public health and the Veterinary Medicines Directorate. Public health recommendations include that:

  • Public health organisations should work with clinical laboratory colleagues to ensure that all Salmonella species are sent to the relevant reference laboratories for speciation and antimicrobial susceptibility testing.
  • Public health organisations should scope the development of a national sentinel surveillance system for Campylobacter isolates collected from human infections.
  • Public health organisations should support the work of professional organisations to transition UK clinical laboratories to a single standardised nationally agreed methodology for routine antibiotic testing in 2016.
  • Public health organisations should work with professional organisations to develop guidance related to recommended antibiotic and bacterial combinations, which should be tested and reported by clinical laboratories for key One Health pathogens.
  • Human public health reference laboratories should follow the EU protocol for harmonised monitoring of antimicrobial resistance in human Salmonella and Campylobacter isolates.
  • Public health organisations should explore data available on human sales of antibiotics from manufacturers and holders of human antibiotic marketing authorisations. UK One Health Report 14
  • Public and professional One Health activities should be enhanced through engagement with the European Antibiotic Awareness Day (EAAD) campaign and aligning training programmes for human and animal health professionals.

The full report by HM Government can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/447319/One_Health_Report_July2015.pdf

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