Barriers and facilitators to the uptake of an antimicrobial stewardship program in primary care: A qualitative study

PLoS One. 2020 Mar 5;15(3):e0223822. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0223822. eCollection 2020.


The overuse of antimicrobials in primary care can be linked to an increased risk of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria for individual patients. Although there are promising signs of the benefits associated with Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs (ASPs) in hospitals and long-term care settings, there is limited knowledge in primary care settings and how to implement ASPs in these settings is unclear. In this context, a qualitative study was undertaken to explore the perceptions of primary care prescribers of the usefulness, feasibility, and experiences associated with the implementation of a pilot community-focused ASP intervention in three primary care clinics. Qualitative interviews were conducted with primary care clinicians, including local ASP champions, prescribers, and other primary health care team members, while they participated in an ASP initiative within one of three primary care clinics. An iterative conventional content analyses approach was used to analyze the transcribed interviews. Themes emerged around the key enablers and barriers associated with ASP implementation. Study findings point to key insights relevant to the scalability of community ASP activities with primary care providers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antimicrobial Stewardship*
  • Drug Resistance, Microbial
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Nurses / psychology
  • Pharmacists / psychology
  • Physicians / psychology
  • Primary Health Care*
  • Program Evaluation
  • Qualitative Research
  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Grant support

Funding was provided by the Innovation Fund of the Alternative Funding Plan for the Academic Health Sciences Centres of Ontario.