Shared Goals, Different Barriers: A Qualitative Study of UK Veterinarians’ and Farmers’ Beliefs About Antimicrobial Resistance and Stewardship

  28 April 2019

The application of a psychosocial approach, using critical incident methodology, to explore vets’ and farmers’ antimicrobial treatment decisions identified that whilst they understand their responsibilities for antimicrobial stewardship, psychological and contextual factors, such as economics, emotions, and relationships appear to be important potential barriers to consistent stewardship-aligned decisions. The results suggest that, for vets and farmers in this study, a conflict between their ideals and behaviour leads to a sense of ambivalence toward their responsibilities for antimicrobial stewardship; they take ownership of the issue, but also engage in other-blaming and locate responsibility for AMR with others. The results also suggest that vets and farmers share and understand common challenges, some of which are also an issue for human medicine. AMR has been described as the “quintessential planetary One Health challenge” [35, p.508] and recognizing shared challenges (a common fate) between different groups may play a key role in improving antimicrobial stewardship.

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