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  • 1 April 2017 to 31 December 2017
  • Project No: 366
  • Funding round: FR 13


Antibiotics are used to treat infections caused by bacteria. Deciding who will benefit from antibiotics is not always easy. Preschool children are at risk of receiving unnecessary antibiotics because many childhood infections are caused by viruses, not bacteria, and would have got better without antibiotics. Taking antibiotics can cause bacteria to change so that they can no longer be killed by antibiotics. These bacteria become “antibiotic resistant”. These resistant infections are more difficult to treat, making people more unwell for longer.

Aim and research methods

Our aim is to explore beliefs and understanding about antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance amongst parents of preschool children. We will interview parents whose child has recently had a respiratory infection (e.g. chest, ear or throat infection). Exploring parents’ knowledge of antibiotics is important because it influences how frequently they consult a GP, whether they expect antibiotics and how often their child takes antibiotics.

Patient and public involvement

Public and patient representatives have contributed by helping us design this study to ensure our research covers issues important to parents and their families; they will help us to develop ways of telling people about the research and to advise on how best to share our findings.

Benefits to the patients and NHS

Our findings will identify parents’ beliefs about antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance. The findings of this research will help to inform future antibiotic awareness campaigns aimed at parents or carers of young children, and training material for doctors and nurses, with the purpose of reducing unnecessary antibiotic use and the impact of antibiotic resistance.

Amount awarded: £23,501

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.