New Study Reveals Barriers to Combating Antibiotic Resistance

Aug 06, 2020 | Kim Rodgers

New survey research from Pew and the American Medical Association reveals barriers to the fight against antibiotic resistance in U.S. doctor’s offices. Despite a majority (65%) of doctors reporting that they’ve seen a rise in resistant infections among their patients over the past five years, most see the superbug problem abstractly, not as something they personally are contributing to.

This is a problem for many reasons, not least of which is the fact COVID-19 is expected to increase threat posed by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. With a wilting antibiotic pipeline, doctors’ efforts to slow the spread of resistance through more appropriate prescribing is one of our last lines of defense.

Key findings include:

  • Only 26% of the internal medicine and family medicine physicians surveyed ranked antibiotic resistance as a top-three public health issue. In contrast, 73% of pediatricians ranked antibiotic resistance as a top-three issue.
  • Nearly all physicians surveyed (almost 94%) agreed that antibiotic resistance is a concern in the U.S., but only 55% agreed that it was a problem in their own practices. Additionally, 91% agreed that inappropriate prescribing was an issue nationally, but only 37% agreed that it was a problem within their own practices.

Breakdowns of the research can be found here:


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About Kim Rodgers

Kim Rodgers is the Communications Manager at NACCHO.

More posts by Kim Rodgers

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