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  • 1 April 2017 to 28 February 2018
  • Project No: 376
  • Funding round: FR 13


Many patients in primary care are being prescribed antibiotics to treat mild infections such as a colds, earaches and sore throats. Many of these are viral rather than bacterial infections that get better on their own and which can be treated with self-care (such as rest, fluids and mild pain killers). The overuse and misuse of antibiotics in primary care is an increasing national and global concern due to the increasing risk of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) (when bacteria becomes resistant to treatments leading to increased risks of illness lasting longer, increased symptom severity and even death). Current UK health guidelines and research is centred on ways to understand and improve how health care professionals prescribe antibiotics. Research findings show that open and clear communication between GPs and patients is important in order for antibiotic prescribing to be better; but, there is a lack of evidence about what open/clear communication looks like and how it might be achieved in practice. The proposed project will examine a sample drawn from three datasets of GP video-recordings collected from primary care (GP) practices across the South of England (Southampton, Bristol and London) and will analyse how GPs and patients discuss and negotiate the need for antibiotics using the principles of Conversation Analysis (CA). Modest funding from CLAHRC Wessex meant the team has begun to analyse 26 video recordings from the Southampton dataset and this pilot analysis confirms the importance of continued work in this area. The sample of 26 is too small to identify strong key patterns about how the GPs and patients talk about antibiotics. SPCR funding will mean the team can access and analyse a larger collection of recordings from the other two datasets. This work will directly aid the design of a draft GP communication tool and the development of a communication intervention in a larger research project in 2017/8.

Amount awarded: £35,500

Projects by themes

We have grouped projects under the five SPCR themes in this document

Evidence synthesis working group

The collaboration will be conducting 18 high impact systematic reviews, under four workstreams.