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Identifying perceived barriers in the outbreak meeting

After watching the video in the previous step, use the transcript in the resources section below to identify the perceived barriers (a participant’s assessment of an obstacle) to antibiotic prescribing by participants of the outbreak meeting. Highlight the words or sentences you think show these barriers.

You will also find a PDF download of the exercise for you to fill out a brief interpretive summary of those barriers. There are no wrong or right answers, but try to:

  • meaningfully group barriers and (if interlinked) present them in a logical (likely causal) order

  • ensure you are clear about who perceived a barrier (e.g. the medical director, the antimicrobial management lead, etc.)

  • what aspect of antibiotic prescribing was exactly hindered (e.g. development, implementation and optimising antibiotic policy).


In research, we are interested in barriers perceived by our participants (informants), rather than ‘implicit’ barriers (i.e. our assessments of what the underlying or resultant barrier might be).

In this example you will practice an important skill of differentiating between what is a perceived barrier (by the outbreak meeting’s participants) and an ‘implicit’ barrier (that you have perceived).

For example: The medical director stated that

“I am concerned about what we have in terms of a policy, compliance with that policy, and engagement with that policy.”

This is a perceived barrier to implementation of an antibiotic policy. He then continues by stating that

“We need to sort this out”.

This indicates an implicit problem of a diffusion of responsibility - i.e. a lack of leadership embedded in his role - for setting direction by making decisions about what is to be done and about how impact should be evaluated. This is likely to hinder optimising the local antibiotic policy. But based on the provided excerpt we could not conclude that this is a perceived barrier.

The author’s model answer and summary are in the next step.

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This article is from the free online course:

Utilising Social Science and Behaviour Change in Antimicrobial Stewardship Programmes: Improving Healthcare