In 2014, Public Health England (PHE) developed the behavioural change Antibiotic Guardian (AG) campaign to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR). This included an online pledge system aimed at healthcare professionals (HCP) and the public. Demographics of AGs were collected when pledging online and analysed by pledge group, type, geography, and source of hearing of the campaign between 24/07/2014⁻31/12/2017. Website visitors and acquisition routes were described using Google analytics data. From November 2016, five questions assessed AMR knowledge which was compared to published Eurobarometer AMR survey results for UK. Behaviour change of AGs was also assessed through an impact questionnaire, evaluating the effect of the campaign on self-reported behaviour around AMR. Overall there were 231,460 unique website visitors from 202 countries resulting in 57,627 English and 652 foreign language pledges. Website visitors increased each year with peaks during European Antibiotic Awareness Day and (EAAD) World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW). Self-direction was the largest acquisition route (55%) with pledges more likely via this route than social media (OR 2.6, 95% CI 2.5⁻2.6). AGs (including the public) were more likely to answer questions correctly than the Eurobarometer UK group (OR 8.5, 95% CI 7.4⁻9.9). AG campaign engagement has increased over the four years with particular increases in the student group. AGs had greater knowledge compared to the Eurobarometer UK population. The latest impact evaluation of the online pledge scheme highlights that it continues to be an effective and inexpensive way to engage people with the problem of AMR especially among those with prior awareness of the topic.
Keywords: Antibiotic Guardian; antibiotic resistance; antimicrobial stewardship; behaviour change; campaign evaluation; public health.