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Reducing antibiotic usage in people with self-limiting viral illness

39 months
Approved budget:
Dr Stephen Ritchie
Associate Professor Mark Thomas
Ms Susan Reid
Dr Sandra Thaggard
Associate Professor Robyn Whittaker
Dr Lily Fraser
Dr Amy Chan
Dr Arier Lee
Dr Emma Best
Professor Bruce Arroll
Health issue:
Other (generic health or health services)
Proposal type:
Lay summary
New Zealanders are the fifth highest antibiotic users among high income countries. Inappropriate antibiotic use to treat self-limiting upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) is common, and contributes to antibiotic resistance and to patient harm. Several studies have identified successful interventions (e.g. patient education or enhanced prescriber communication skills) to reduce antibiotic prescription for URTI. However, these methods are resource intensive and have not been used in NZ. We have performed several studies that have reduced patients’ expectations to receive antibiotics for URTI, and plan to build upon this research by: i) learning more about Māori and Pacific people’s opinions regarding antibiotic treatment for URTI; ii) co-designing a resource efficient intervention that incorporates evidence-based methods shown to reduce antibiotic usage for URTI; iii) testing this intervention in a real world primary care setting. Our goal is to create an effective intervention that can be upscaled into routine practice throughout NZ.