Evaluating UK Pharmacy Workers’ Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviour towards Antimicrobial Stewardship and Assessing the Impact of Training in Community Pharmacy

Donna Seaton, Diane Asheru-Oredope, Jordan Charlsworth, Isla Gemmell, Roger Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Antibiotic Guardian (AG) campaign, developed in 2014 is an online ‘pledge’ approach to engage health workers and the public about antimicrobial resistance. It is underpinned by models of science communication and behaviour change. Since its launch until the end of 2021, more than
140,000 individuals pledged. A service evaluation was conducted to determine the impact of the campaign upon UK pharmacy workers, in response to national training introduced in 2020. Pledged pharmacy workers were sent an online questionnaire collating demographics, self-reported behaviour and opportunity to support prudent antibiotic use. It also investigated respondents’ daily practice and antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) efforts, and motivations for pledging. Capability was measured with a set of knowledge questions. Awareness of changes to the Community Pharmacy Quality Scheme in England to include incentivized training on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) was explored. Of the 5344 pharmacy workers invited to participate, 783 (14.6%) responded to the survey. There was a statistically significant difference between job roles and capability score. Pharmacists, including Academic and Hospital Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians reported higher confidence and capability scores than Dispensers and Pharmacy Assistants (F = 13.776, p = 0.0002). Respondents reported strong knowledge on antimicrobial resistance and high confidence in fulfilling their AG stewardship pledge within daily practices (92.7% of all respondents answered all capability questions, as measured by knowledge, correctly). Two thirds of respondents (61.6% (423/693)) agreed or strongly agreed that they had access to and were able to utilise local antibiotic prescribing guidance and a similar proportion of responding community pharmacists (60%) were aware of the content of their workplace AMS plans. No statistically significant relationships were found between motivations for pledging and subsequent behaviour; pledging due to mandatory requirements of
work-place training was the most common answer in both 2019 (42%) and 2020 (54%) cohorts. This evaluation supports the value of the AG pledge-based approach to engage and educate pharmacy workers. Reflections show its impact on increasing evidence-based stewardship for pharmacy workers and their response to mandatory training requirement by employers highlights the effectiveness of the AG campaign to promote AMS within pharmacy team.
Original languageEnglish
Article number10
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages16
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2022


  • pharmacy
  • antimicrobial resistance
  • knowledge
  • Questionnaires
  • behaviour
  • antibiotics


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