Objectives: Tackling the global health threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) requires a whole of system effort, which includes the involvement of pharmacists. However, the nature and extent of their current involvement may be shaped by content published in the media, including in professional publications. This study aimed to explore content inclusions relating to AMR and antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) in pharmacy focussed professional publications as a foundational step to understanding the impact of media content on pharmacists' behaviour relating to AMS.
Methods: A range of search terms were used to review the key professional publications targeting the Australian pharmacy sector, from the period 1 January 2014 to 30 June 2019. A content analysis was conducted using a coding framework that explored seven key themes of interest.
Key findings: Of the 488 articles reviewed, 251 were retained for analysis. Most publications featured excerpts of research publications and published reports. Clinicians' prescribing behaviour and the pharmaceutical industry's manufacturing and research and development practices were described as the main contributors to the development of AMR. The breadth of pharmacists' contribution to AMS was often segmented by place of practice, with few references to the positive links between pharmacists' current activities in preventing and controlling infections to reducing AMR.
Conclusion: This study highlights that pharmacy-related media content is focused on raising awareness on the issue of AMR. There are opportunities, however, for increased coverage on pharmacists' contribution to AMS, particularly in the community setting. This includes highlighting linkages between existing pharmacy services, such as immunisation, to broader AMS efforts.
Keywords: Antimicrobial stewardship; content analysis; media; pharmacists; pharmacy.
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