To explore healthcare professionals' views of antibiotic prescribing in long-term care facilities (LTCFs). To use the findings to recommend intervention strategies for antimicrobial stewardship in LTCFs.
Qualitative semistructured interviews were conducted. The data were analysed by thematic content analysis. After the interviews, the emerging findings were mapped to the theoretical domains framework (TDF), and the behaviour change wheel and behaviour change technique (BCT) taxonomy were used to recommend future intervention strategies.
Interviews were conducted with 37 healthcare professionals who work in LTCFs (10 general practitioners, 4 consultants, 14 nurses, 9 pharmacists) between December 2012 and March 2013.
Interviews were conducted in the greater Cork region.
The main domains from the TDF which emerged were: 'Knowledge', 'Environmental context and resources', 'Social influences', 'Beliefs about consequences', 'Memory, attention and decision making', with the findings identifying a need for 'Behavioural regulation'. Many participants believed that antibiotic prescribing was satisfactory at their LTCF, despite the lack of surveillance activities.
This study, using the TDF and BCT taxonomy, has found that antibiotic prescribing in LTCFs is influenced by many social and contextual factors. The challenges of the setting and patient population, the belief about consequences to the patient, and the lack of implementation of guidelines and knowledge regarding antibiotic prescribing patterns are significant challenges to address. On the basis of the study findings and the application of the TDF and BCT taxonomy, we suggest some practical intervention functions for antimicrobial stewardship in LTCFs.