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[Research Report] Survey to Identify Key Messages for Public Understanding of the Threat of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)(August 25, 2022)

[Research Report] Survey to Identify Key Messages for Public Understanding of the Threat of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)(August 25, 2022)

Health and Global Policy Institute (HGPI: Secretariat of AMR Alliance Japan) has been addressing the issue of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) since 2016. To further promote AMR countermeasures, the AMR subcommittee of the Nikkei-FT Communicable Diseases Conferences Asia-Africa Medical Innovation Consortium (AMIC), for which AMR Alliance Japan serves as secretariat, has published the results of a survey that aimed to identify key messages to help the general public understand the threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). A proposal for information dissemination was also released.

In order to support future educational and awareness-raising activities, this survey analyzed the targets, methods, and characteristics of the messages being communicated about AMR.

The survey was conducted from December 2-6 as a quantitative, web-based survey of 1,000 randomly selected citizens aged 18 and older. In order to investigate citizens’ current awareness of AMR, questions included 15 AMR-related messages and 7 questions related to knowledge of antimicrobial. Based on the results, the key points of AMR information dissemination were elucidated and summarized.


Key Findings

  1. Messaging can improve awareness among groups who were previously uninterested
  2. Younger people respond to data, while older people focus on personal impact
  3. There are three messages all generations viewed as important.
    (1) Global number of deaths (2) Depletion of therapeutics (3) Impact on elderly people
  4. It is important that media used to communicate medical information (information sources) feature explanations from healthcare professionals
  5. Interest in AMR in the environment increased with age
  6. Respondents who felt that information on AMR in animals and food is important tended to have high interest in AMR in the environment


Recommendations for disseminating information regarding AMR bacteria

Based on this survey, the following recommendations are proposed. It is expected that all parties concerned will engage in awareness-raising and learning support activities in preparation for the the Promotion of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) Awareness Month in November, and the G7 Hiroshima Summit in 2023.

  1. Messaging must take differences in interest among generations into account.
    • Survey findings suggested messaging is an effective method of disseminating information, even among people who are not interested in AMR. In addition to past messaging efforts, it may be necessary to intensify messaging to build understanding among more citizens in the future.
    • Younger people may be less interested in AMR because they may find it difficult to recognize AMR-related problems. It may be effective to use objective data in media that reaches younger people, such as social networks.
    • When providing information to elderly people, it may be necessary to foster a sense of impending crisis toward AMR, such as by focusing on how AMR can affect personal health.
  2. The need for trust in healthcare professionals and education on AMR
    • Responses regarding respondents’ preferred information channels showed that information from healthcare professionals is considered highly reliable, so it may be necessary for not only physicians but also pharmacists and other paramedical personnel to actively provide AMR-related information.
    • One effective option may be to provide or expand education on AMR for healthcare professionals to create a system in which healthcare professionals provide correct information on AMR to patients and citizens.
  3. One Health
    • Interest in information related to AMR in the environment increased with age but did not match interest in environmental issues among younger respondents. This may be a sign they perceived problems related to AMR in the environment as health issues rather than environmental ones. These trends may also have been influenced by respondents’ past experiences with pollution or drug-induced health incidents.
    • It may be possible to heighten interest in all aspects of One Health by disseminating information on AMR in animals and food together with information on AMR in the environment.
    • Evidence for information on AMR in the environment, animals, and food is insufficient, so in addition to building interest, it will also be important to communicate that there are many unclear aspects of impact on human health and to provide adequate risk communication.

For details, please see the PDF below.

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