Using evidence-based infographics to increase parents’ understanding about antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance: a proof-of-concept study

Talk Code: 
Oliver Van Hecke
Joseph J Lee, Sarah Tonkin-Crine, Michael Moore, Christopher Butler
Author institutions: 
All authors University of Oxford, except Michael Moore (University of Southampton)


Antibiotic resistance is an important societal health issue. The greatest risk factor for developing a resistant infection is antibiotic use. Almost 75% of all antibiotics in the UK are prescribed in primary care. Estimates suggests that at least one third of all antibiotics prescribed in primary care are unnecessary especially in preschool children with self-limiting respiratory tract infections.Public misconceptions about antibiotic use persist despite the efforts of antibiotic awareness campaigns. These campaigns have often followed a top-down approach and have not sought input from the public about their personal experiences of managing illness. It is crucial that communities see antibiotic campaign messages as relevant, accessible and important in order to have an influence on health seeking behaviour and antibiotic use. We therefore set to develop a series of evidenced-based infographics (EBIs) on antibiotic use for common infections in children and to evaluate their effectiveness at increasing parents’ understanding of antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance.


There are three phases to this research. In phase 1 we set out to identify and summarise scientific evidence for the use of antibiotics for three common infections in children (sore throat, acute cough and otitis media). Phase 2 focussed on co-design of a series of prototype EBIs for each infection in focus groups with parents of young children to test the face- and content validity. Phase 3 will test the feasibility of EBIs in increasing parents’ understanding about antibiotic use and the perceived relevance of antibiotic resistance in an online survey.


This proof-of-concept study is a work in progress. We have co-developed, reviewed and revised a series of EBIs with parents and professional graphic designers using the evidence from phase 1 in two focus groups. The process and prototype EBIs will be showcased at conference.


This study will identify how parents interpret EBIs on antibiotic use and antibiotic resistance and inform novel approaches to improving antibiotic stewardship initiatives in the community.

Submitted by: 
Oliver van Hecke
Funding acknowledgement: 
NIHR SPCR grant (reference number 439)