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  • 1 December 2018 to 30 November 2019
  • Project No: 439
  • Funding round: FR17


Antibiotics are important medicines to treat certain 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. Unfortunately, public antibiotic awareness campaigns in the UK have not been as effective to reduce antibiotic use in the community.

Aim and research methods

Our aim is to develop a series of evidenced-based infographics (EBIs) on antibiotic use for common infections in children together with parents and graphic designers.  EBIs are graphic visual representations of information that can show information quickly and clearly. We then want to test whether EBIs can be effective at increasing parents’ understanding of antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance through a series of parent focus groups and surveys.  

Patient and public involvement

Previous SPCR research involving public and patient representatives have contributed by helping us design this study to ensure our research covers issues important to parents and their families. In this study, parents will help us co-design and test EBIs, and 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 new ways to help boost awareness and understanding of antibiotic use and resistance for parents and their families. The findings of this research will help to inform future antibiotic awareness campaigns aimed at parents of young children with the purpose of reducing unnecessary antibiotic use and the impact of antibiotic resistance.

Amount awarded: £12 500

Blog: Infographics about anitbiotics: making facts accessible

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.