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20 Jun 2017

War on superbugs: articulating the crisis of antimicrobial resistance

Getting patients on side in efforts to minimise the rise of drug-resistant infections is critical. The language clinicians use can mean the difference between a clearly understood call to action, or a problem that gathers momentum while remaining under the radar. 

Arjun Rajkhowa, centre manager of the National Centre for Antimicrobial Stewardship, writes that clear communication is the prerequisite for behaviour change.    

He quotes Associate Professor Kirsty Buising, infectious diseases physician at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and deputy director of the National Centre for Antimicrobial Stewardship: 

“It may be necessary to explain that it is the bugs that are changing (they are acquiring ways to avoid being killed by the drug), and not the drugs that are changing (antibiotics are getting weaker or losing their power) or the patient who is changing (‘I am becoming immune to antibiotics because I’ve had so many’).”

Read more in MJA INsight

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