York leads WHO study mapping antimicrobial resistance education in health care

Research commissioned by the World Health Organization and led by York University shows that many organizations are working to develop and share educational resources for health-care workers on antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial stewardship.

The study, titled “Mapping educational opportunities for healthcare workers on antimicrobial resistance and stewardship around the world,” was accepted in the Human Resources for Health journal.

Steven J. Hoffman

Steven J. Hoffman

The study was conducted by the Global Strategy Lab (GSL), a bi-campus interdisciplinary research program based at York University and the University of Ottawa, with York University Professor and GSL Director Steven Hoffman; Susan Rogers Van Katwyk, Research fellow at GSL; and Sara L. Jones, Dalhousie University medical student, taking the lead.

The team of researchers investigated the resources available to health-care workers through a global environmental scan, looking at educational programs and resources designed for health-care workers on the topic of antimicrobial resistance and antimicrobial stewardship.

The study stems from the need to engage health-care workers in understanding and advocating for rational antibiotic use.

Researchers identified 94 programs and educational initiatives, summarized them and then developed a coding system to classify them to outline the available resources. They found that most resources were developed by “a combination of government bodies, professional societies, universities, non-profit and community organizations, hospitals and health-care centres, insurance companies and industry.”

The study also highlights that although a number of resources are available, there are opportunities to increase engagement with students, improve pre-service education and produce better platforms for sharing resources online.

Hoffman said the study informed a WHO expert consultation in Geneva, as well as several followup efforts, including WHO developing training tools for health workers.

“It’s a good example of York U collaborating with the United Nations and making a difference around the world,” said Hoffman.

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