Perspective of community pharmacists about community-based antimicrobial stewardship programs. A multicenter cross-sectional study from China

Background: Antimicrobial stewardship programs (ASPs) are commonly used worldwide to tackle antimicrobial resistance. The current study aimed to investigate the perspective of pharmacists on community-based ASPs in China.

Methods: A multicenter cross-sectional study was conducted in the capital cities of three different provinces of China between March 2019 and July 2019. A systematic random sampling method was used to recruit respondents.

Results: A response rate of 87.4% (416/476) was obtained. A large number of respondents (n = 308, 74.0%) believed that ASPs are vital to improving patient care (Median = 4, IQR = 2). Approximately one-third of the respondents (n = 142, 34.1%) always ask patients about their knowledge related to antimicrobials (Median = 4, IQR = 2). Additionally, a considerable number of respondents (n = 127, 30.5%) always, or often (n = 117, 28.1%) collaborated with other healthcare professionals (Median = 4, IQR = 2). Age, gender, and experience were observed to have a significant association (p < 0.05) with median scores of knowledge about antibiotics, perceptions, and practices on ASPs.

Conclusions: The perceptions of pharmacists regarding ASPs were positive. However, gaps in knowledge about some aspects of antibiotics and participation in ASPs were found. The development of regional community-based ASPs is urgently required.