UK clinicians’ attitudes towards the application of molecular diagnostics to guide antibiotic use in ICU patients with pneumonias: A quantitative study

Sarah-Jane F. Stewart, Alyssa M. Pandolfo, Zoe Moon, Yogini Jani, Stephen J. Brett, David Brealey, Suveer Singh, Virve I. Enne, David M. Livermore, Vanya Gant, Robert Horne, INHALE Study Group

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Background: Molecular diagnostic tests may improve antibiotic prescribing by enabling earlier tailoring of antimicrobial therapy. However, clinicians’ trust and acceptance of these tests will determine their application in practice.

Objectives: To examine ICU prescribers’ views on the application of molecular diagnostics in patients with suspected hospital-acquired and ventilator-associated pneumonia (HAP/VAP).

Methods: Sixty-three ICU clinicians from five UK hospitals completed a cross-sectional questionnaire between May 2020 and July 2020 assessing attitudes towards using molecular diagnostics to inform initial agent choice and to help stop broad-spectrum antibiotics early.

Results: Attitudes towards using molecular diagnostics to inform initial treatment choices and to stop broad-spectrum antibiotics early were nuanced. Most (83%) were positive about molecular diagnostics, agreeing that using results to inform broad-spectrum antibiotic prescribing is good practice. However, many (58%) believed sick patients are often too unstable to risk stopping broad-spectrum antibiotics based on a negative result.

Conclusions: Positive attitudes towards the application of molecular diagnostics to improve antibiotic stewardship were juxtapositioned against the perceived need to initiate and maintain broad-spectrum antibiotics to protect unstable patients.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123–127
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy
Issue number1
Early online date16 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2024

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