Are Sepsis Awareness and Antimicrobial Stewardship Competing Goals? A Newsprint Content Analysis

McDaid, L. and Hilton, S. (2017) Are Sepsis Awareness and Antimicrobial Stewardship Competing Goals? A Newsprint Content Analysis. 10th European Public Health Conference Sustaining Resilient and Healthy Communities, Stockholm, Sweden, 1-4 Nov 2017. (doi:10.1093/eurpub/ckx186.152)

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Antimicrobial resistance has emerged as a major threat to public health that is predicted to be responsible for ten million deaths per annum by 2050. One key driver is inappropriate use of antibiotics in managing minor illnesses that would resolve spontaneously without drug treatment. Reduction in unnecessary prescribing is a vital component of antimicrobial stewardship but is complicated by a recent drive to improve recognition of sepsis, a serious consequence of untreated bacterial infection associated with high mortality. We explored similarities and differences in how the drivers and solutions of antimicrobial resistance and sepsis are framed in newsprint media. Quantitative analysis was conducted on the content of 300 articles about sepsis and 162 articles about antimicrobial resistance published in 11 UK national newspapers searching on all available dates up to 31st December 2016. Thematic categories were compared using Chi-square tests of association, with statistical significance set at p < 0.01. Articles about sepsis were more likely to be personalised with case histories, often involving children or high profile individuals, and to identify failings within local healthcare settings. For sepsis, the main solution was presented as increased awareness to allow early recognition and antimicrobial treatment. In contrast, antimicrobial resistance was presented as a global problem resulting from harmful collective actions of the healthcare, pharmaceutical and agricultural sectors whose solutions are technical and systemic in nature, and largely out with the control of the individual. Exposure to news stories about sepsis has the potential to alter public awareness and perception of risks associated with minor illness. This may impact on expectations of receiving antimicrobial treatment, with implications for antimicrobial stewardship.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Additional Information:Abstract published in European Journal of Public Health 27(Suppl. 3): ckx186.152
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McDaid, Professor Lisa and Hilton, Professor Shona
Authors: McDaid, L., and Hilton, S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO SPHSU
Journal Name:European Journal of Public Health
Published Online:20 October 2017

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
727671SPHSU Core Renewal: Informing Healthy Public Policy Research ProgrammePeter CraigMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/15IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU
727631SPHSU Core Renewal: Relationships & Health Improvement Research ProgrammeLisa McDaidMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12017/11IHW - MRC/CSO SPHU