3 ways interpersonal relationships influence preventative antibiotic treatment

A study published in the American Journal of Infection Control examined the way interpersonal relationships influence decision making regarding surgical antibiotic prophylaxis.

Researchers conducted in-depth semistructured interviews on antibiotic prescribing with 20 surgeons and anesthetists.

The study shows there are three ways in which interpersonal relationships influence surgical antibiotic prophylaxis:

• Relationship dynamics between the surgeon and the anesthetist determine appropriateness of surgical antibiotic prophylaxis.
• Perceived hierarchies within, and between, surgical and anesthetist specialties influence antibiotic prescribing decisions.
• Surgical distance from the antimicrobial stewardship team influences use of antimicrobial stewardship principles.

"Interventions to optimize [surgical antibiotic prophylaxis] are more likely to be effective in enacting sustained change if they consider the interpersonal and social contexts, including issues of familiarity and cohesiveness, hierarchical patterns, and sense of place within a team," study authors concluded.

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