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An evolving field – how behavioural and social science can help design new solutions

This article is a short review, telling learners to review their antibiotic resistance action plan they made in week 1 using a study by Thomson et al.
A person holding a pen and writing in a notebook.

Please take some time to review the list of problems to be tackled in your draft action plan – you started this in Week 1 and may now have identified additional issues to put on the list. In this step you will start to plan how you will overcome the barriers, including who needs to be involved, what they need to do, when you aim to deliver the change, and how you will measure successful completion of the action.

Now compare your list of problems against the list of factors presented by Thompson et al. (2020) in their ethnographic study of factors influencing the decision whether to prescribe antibiotics for adults with acute conditions.

Please discuss how well the factors identified in your analysis match those in the ethnographic study and any areas which you have identified as missing from their list?

Diagram showing how behaviour is linked to and affected by capability, motivation and opportunity.

Image sourced from Thompson et al. 2020 ethnographic study.

If you require a text version of the above image, this is available as a PDF.

Dental antibiotic prescribing, resistance and stewardship is an evolving agenda: research papers are being published all the time. Have a look at the published academic literature by searching names of researchers quoted in this MOOC. If you think there are still gaps in the literature why not design a study to explore it some more?

Once you have a list of problems to be solved as part of your dental antibiotic stewardship programme, there are a range of behavioural science tools that you may wish to use to develop approaches to tackling the problems. Thompson et al. used the UCL Centre for Behaviour Change Tools and Techniques website to inform development of their evidence-based, behaviour-informed interventions. Or take a look at the FDI white paper’s on-line library of resources from around the world that may be adopted/adapted to meet your local needs.

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Tackling Antibiotic Resistance: What Should Dental Teams Do?

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