oa SA Pharmaceutical Journal - Engaging pharmacy personnel in antimicrobial stewardship using a novel method of teaching : original research

Volume 83, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2221-5875
  • E-ISSN: 2220-1017



Pharmacists need to become antimicrobial stewards to ensure the responsible use of antibiotics. Advanced training in infectious diseases is not offered in South Africa's pharmacy education system. The purpose of this study was to develop an antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) educational tool to engage pharmacists in AMS and improve their infectious disease knowledge. The primary outcome was the identification of a change in infectious disease knowledge.

This was a single-centre study. One pharmacist participated in a "train the trainer" AMS programme with infectious diseases pharmacists in the USA. An AMS comic book was developed to teach basic infectious disease principles to non-infectious disease pharmacists, interns and support staff. The book covered relevant topics, such as why AMS is important, the classification of organisms, organism-antibiotic matching, the antibiotic spectrum and clinical tips. Ten pharmacy personnel, i.e. five pharmacists, two pharmacist interns and three post-basic pharmacist's assistants, participated. Learning outcomes were measured using pre- and post testing. Study participants took the pre-test, attended a workshop where the AMS comic book was used to aid instruction, and completed a post test and survey. Statistical analysis was performed using the Wilcoxon rank-sum test.
Infectious disease knowledge significantly improved based on pre- and post-test scores (66% vs. 96%) (p-value < 0.05).It was shown in a survey that probed satisfaction levels that 100% of the participants responded favourably to this method of learning.
The AMS comic book proved to be an effective educational tool for non-infectious disease pharmacists, pharmacist interns and pharmacist's assistants in learning AMS principles. Novel educational methods should be explored to engage pharmacists in this important role.

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