Cross-border comparison of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and AMR prevention measures: the healthcare workers’ perspective

Julia Keizer*, Louise Jansen, S. Kampmeier, R. Köck, N. al Naiemi, R. Te Riet-Warning, Nienke Beerlage-de Jong, Karsten Becker, Lisette J.E.W.C. van Gemert-Pijnen

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Background
Cross-border healthcare may promote the spread of multidrug-resistant microorganisms (MDRO) and is challenging due to heterogeneous antimicrobial resistance (AMR) prevention measures (APM). The aim of this article is to compare healthcare workers (HCW) from Germany (DE) and The Netherlands (NL) on how they perceive and experience AMR and APM, which is important for safe patient exchange and effective cross-border APM cooperation.

Methods
A survey was conducted amongst HCW (n = 574) in hospitals in DE (n = 305) and NL (n = 269), using an online self-administered survey between June 2017 and July 2018. Mann-Whitney U tests were used to analyse differences between answers of German and Dutch physicians (n = 177) and German and Dutch nurses (n = 397) on 5-point Likert Items and Scales.

Results
Similarities between DE and NL were a high awareness about the AMR problem and the perception that the possibility to cope with AMR is limited (30% respondents perceive their contribution to limit AMR as insufficient). Especially Dutch nurses scored significantly lower than German nurses on their contribution to limit AMR (means 2.6 vs. 3.1, p ≤ 0.001). German HCW were more optimistic about their potential role in coping with AMR (p ≤ 0.001), and scored higher on feeling sufficiently equipped to perform APM (p ≤ 0.003), although the mean scores did not differ much between German and Dutch respondents.

Conclusions
Although both German and Dutch HCW are aware of the AMR problem, they should be more empowered to contribute to limiting AMR through APM (i.e. screening diagnostics, infection diagnosis, treatment and infection control) in their daily working routines. The observed differences reflect differences in local, national and cross-border structures, and differences in needs of HCW, that need to be considered for safe patient exchange and effective cross-border APM.
Original languageEnglish
Article number123
JournalAntimicrobial resistance and infection control
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2019

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