Exploring drivers and challenges influencing antibiotic prescribing in outpatient settings and possible mitigation strategies in the United Arab Emirates: a qualitative study

Ahmed A Sadeq, Farah Ahmed Issa, Mina Bakhit, Maitha Abdul-Aziz Al-Tamimi, Zahir Osman Eltahir Babiker, Raghad S Ismail Alshabebi, Jehad Abdallah, Emmanuel Fru Nsutebo, Marleine B. Moukarzel, Rawan Abukhater, Barbara R Conway, Stuart E Bond, Sidra Khan, Mamoon A Aldeyab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: Healthcare institutions implement antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) programmes to optimize the use of antibiotics. The focus is often on inpatient rather than outpatient settings. We aimed to explore perceptions of AMS stakeholders on effective interventions for appropriate antibiotic use in outpatient settings, and the role of clinical pharmacists in the AMS multidisciplinary team.

METHODS: A qualitative semi-structured interview study using thematic analysis by two researchers independently. Participants that practice AMS programmes were recruited from healthcare facilities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Interviews were conducted face to face or online and transcribed verbatim.

RESULTS: Four themes emerged: (i) Perceived factors leading to unnecessary or inappropriate antibiotic prescribing and their impact on patients and the community; (ii) current outpatient AMS activities and perceived barriers and facilitators for their sustainability; (iii) suggested outpatient AMS strategies to be implemented in outpatient settings; and (iv) perceived future AMS implementation barriers and suggested mitigation strategies.

CONCLUSIONS: Several AMS interventions, together with the presence of a clinical pharmacist, may be effective in improving antibiotic use in UAE outpatient settings. Future research should investigate the most appropriate AMS strategy considering barriers and possible mitigation strategies to ensure sustainability.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberdlad109
Number of pages9
JournalJAC-Antimicrobial Resistance
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2023

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