Changes in perceptions of antibiotic stewardship among neonatal intensive care unit providers over the course of a learning collaborative: a prospective, multisite, mixed-methods evaluation

J Perinatol. 2024 Jan;44(1):62-70. doi: 10.1038/s41372-023-01823-0. Epub 2023 Nov 24.


Objective: To assess clinician perceptions towards the value and implementation of antibiotic stewardship (AS) in neonatal intensive care units (NICU).

Study design: We performed a mixed-methods study of AS perceptions (prescribing appropriateness, importance, activity, capacity) using surveys and interviews in 30 California NICUs before and after a multicenter collaborative (Optimizing Antibiotic Use in California NICUs [OASCN]).

Results: Pre-OASCN, 24% of respondents felt there was "a lot of" or "some" inappropriate prescribing, often driven by fear of a bad outcome or reluctance to change existing practice. Clinicians reported statistically significant increases in AS importance (71 v 79%), perceived AS activity (67 v 87%), and more openness to change after OASCN (59 v 70%). We identified other concerns that lessen AS effort.

Conclusion: OASCN increased perceived AS activity and openness to change in AS practices among NICU prescribers. Greater attention to subjective concerns should augment AS improvement.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antimicrobial Stewardship*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents