The patient's role in the spread and control of bacterial resistance to antibiotics


Corresponding author and reprint requests: Professor Peter Davey, MEMO, Level 7, Ninewells Hospital, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 9SY, UK
Tel: +44 1382 632575
Fax: +44 1382 644972


As the ultimate consumers, patients play an important role in the emergence, spread and control of bacterial resistance to antibiotics. Improved knowledge of antibiotics and the problem of resistance, as well as a better understanding of beliefs, pressures/concerns, and expectations, from both the patient's and physician's perspectives, are fundamental for controlling antibiotic use. There is growing evidence to suggest that empowering patients through implementation of patient-centered health-care strategies, such as shared decision-making, in conjunction with educational initiatives help to change attitudes and behavior, and improve access to and completion of appropriate antimicrobial therapy. This, in turn, may help to control the development and spread of resistance to antibiotics.