"Antibiotic stewardship is crucial to maintaining the effectiveness of life-saving treatments and preventing harm to patients and the wider community," said SHEA President Hilary Babcock. "We developed this research agenda to draw attention to serious gaps in our knowledge for future investigators and funders."
Andrew Morris, MD, medical director, Sinai Health System-University Health Network Antimicrobial Stewardship Program, Toronto, and lead author of the white paper, Research Needs in Antibiotic Stewardship, said antibiotic stewardship research is in its infancy, and research funding is needed to move practice forward.
Infections - Drug - Dose - Treatment - Duration
"For most infections, we don't know the optimal drug, dose, or treatment duration. For many, we don't even know if they require antibiotic treatment," Morris said.
The authors acknowledge that Antibiotic Stewardship Programs have gained momentum in hospitals as a powerful tool to address inappropriate antibiotic use, but that the optimal use and full value of these programs has not yet been explored. To address these gaps, the authors highlight four broad categories where gaps exist:
Evidence - Base - Prescribing - Practices - Interventions
A scientifically rigorous evidence base to define optimal antibiotic prescribing practices, which adequately inform stewardship interventions across a variety of patient populations and settings;
Effective stewardship approaches to recognize effective interventions, knowledge of how these interventions can be adapted for implementation both locally and across diverse settings, and an understanding of how interventions can be sustained once implemented;
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