Antimicrobial Stewardship in Rural/regional centres

Project Details

Antibiotic resistance is a critical public health issue and action needs to be taken to improve the use of antibiotics across the healthcare spectrum. Significant efforts in antimicrobial stewardship programs have led to improvement in hospitals, but most data have come from tertiary urban hospital settings. Australia is a country in which a significant proportion of the community live in rural and regional centres. Often dedicated experts are not available locally to guide antimicrobial stewardship programs in those settings. Attention is needed to establish sustainable models of care for antimicrobial stewardship in rural Australian hospitals.

This group will examine available data to interrogate the quality of prescribing in rural vs urban hospital settings. Qualitative research will be conducted to examine models of care by interviewing key informants from sites where innovative models have been established. The aim is to describe a comprehensive model and implement it in a cluster of rural hospitals. The impact of the program will be evaluated using mixed methods - uptake/utilisation, staff acceptance, changes in drug consumption patterns, a changes in appropriateness of antibiotic prescriptions. It is likely that this work will also inform strategies to build capacity in antimicrobial stewardship amongst local staff in rural hospitals. Curricula for education and training will be explored, directed towards general nurses and pharmacists. Training for auditing and feedback, and provision of resources as part of a package of interventions will also be a focus.

The aim of this project is to develop evidence that directly informs policy and practice. It is very likely that the findings will be directly translatable to health service delivery in Australian hospitals. It is also expected that many of the findings may inform practice in settings beyond rural Australia, to other resource poor healthcare settings.


  • Professor Karin Thursky CI
  • A/Professor Caroline Marshall CI
  • A/Professor Kirsty Buising CI
  • Dr David Kong CI
  • Dr N. Deborah Friedman AI
  • Dr Noleen Bennett AI
  • Dr Tom Schulz AI
  • Ms Evette Buono AI


  • NHMRC CRE Grant APP1079625

Research Group

Faculty Research Themes

Infection and Immunology

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre


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