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Project details: Community dialogues


The emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance is especially problematic in settings where antibiotics can be bought without a prescription and where they are over-prescribed by health workers and over-used by the public. The World Health Organisation recommends that the general public can help combat antibiotic resistance by preventing infections, using antibiotics only when prescribed by a health professional, completing the full prescription, never using leftover antibiotics and never sharing antibiotics.

The project had five objectives: to conduct research to inform the content of and processes for delivering community dialogues; to adapt the Community Dialogue Approach to the setting; to pilot-test the approach in the catchment areas of five community clinics; to evaluate the feasibility of the pilot intervention in terms of the number of people it reaches, the extent to which it is delivered as intended, and whether or not is it acceptable to a range of stakeholders; and to engage with key stakeholders, such as policy makers, district health officials, community clinic staff and communities to ensure that the intervention is appropriate.


Our project had three stages.

The intervention was developed using a sequential mixed methods study design. This consisted of: exploring the evidence base through an umbrella review, and identifying key international standards on the appropriate use of antibiotics; undertaking detailed exploratory research through a) a qualitative study to explore the most appropriate mechanisms through which to embed the intervention within the existing health system and community infrastructure, and to understand patterns of knowledge, attitudes and practice regarding antibiotics and antibiotic resistance; and b) a household survey – which drew on the qualitative findings - to quantify knowledge, and reported attitudes and practice regarding antibiotics and antibiotic resistance within the target population; and c) drawing on appropriate theories regarding change mechanisms and experience of implementing community engagement interventions to co-produce the intervention processes and materials with key stakeholders at policy, health system and community level.

We piloted the CDA in the catchment areas of five Community Clinics (which provide primary healthcare to around 30,000 people in total).

We evaluated the feasibility and acceptability of the approach through a qualitative study.