Dental antibiotic stewardship: study protocol for developing international consensus on a core outcome set

Wendy Thompson, Leanne Teoh, Céline Pulcini, David Williams, Carole Pitkeathley, Vanessa Carter, Susie Sanderson, Glauco Torres, Tanya Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Antimicrobial resistance is both a global public health and patient safety problem driven by overprescribing of antibiotic and other antimicrobial drugs. To conserve the effectiveness of antibiotics for future generations, antibiotic stewardship approaches to using them only where appropriate and necessary are advocated. Dentistry accounts for about 10% of antibiotic prescriptions across global healthcare, with 80% not in accordance with guidance in some countries. Core outcome sets enable the results of studies to be compared in order to maximise the value which can be derived from them. The aim of this study is to develop an international consensus on a core outcome set for dental antibiotic stewardship. Methods: Consensus on outcomes which are critical for inclusion in the core outcome set for dental antibiotic stewardship will be sought through two rounds of a Delphi survey (using the DelphiManager online system) followed by a final online consensus meeting. Thirty participants will be recruited to the Delphi Panel from across three stakeholder groups: ten dentists, ten academics and ten adults experienced with dental antibiotics as either a patient or parent/carer of a patient who has been prescribed them. Consensus will be achieved if more than 70% of the panel agree that an outcome is critical, with at least one from each stakeholder group in agreement. A long-list of candidate core outcomes has been developed from previously published studies with additions recommended by the steering group. The steering group will oversee development of the core outcome set and includes people from around the world with experience of dental antibiotics: clinicians, researchers and people with experience of being prescribed dental antibiotics and/or surviving an antibiotic resistant infection. Discussion: To date, few studies of dental antibiotic stewardship have been published. Internationally, dental antibiotic guidelines and patterns of use vary widely, so a core outcome set is particularly important to facilitate meaningful comparisons between studies. This core outcome set will encompass antibiotic prescribing for both therapeutic indications, such as for people with acute infections, and for prophylactic indications, such as the prevention of distant site infections (like infective endocarditis) following dental procedures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2022


  • Antibiotic
  • Core outcome set
  • Dental
  • Prescribing
  • Resistance
  • Stewardship


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