Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Facilitators and Barriers to Antibiotic Stewardship: A Qualitative Study of Pharmacists' Perspectives.

Appaneal HJ, Luther MK, Timbrook TT, LaPlante KL, Dosa DM. Facilitators and Barriers to Antibiotic Stewardship: A Qualitative Study of Pharmacists' Perspectives. Hospital pharmacy. 2019 Aug 1; 54(4):250-258.

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


The Veterans Affairs (VA) is a leader in the implementation and advancement of antibiotic stewardship programs throughout the nation. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also led national antibiotic stewardship efforts and has outlined core elements to improve antibiotic use in hospitals, long-term care, and outpatient settings. Many facilities still face challenges to the implementation and maintenance of successful programs, particularly in nonacute care settings. The objective of this study was to identify barriers and facilitators to antibiotic stewardship within the VA medical centers through qualitative interviews with pharmacists. Eight semi-structured telephone interviews were conducted with pharmacists from 6 VA medical centers within VA New England Healthcare System. Pharmacist respondents were either pharmacy champions (for medical centers with established programs) or pharmacists with responsibilities in making antibiotic recommendations (locations without established programs). All interviews were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. NVivo 8 was used for data coding and analysis. Pharmacists from all 8 medical centers were contacted for interviews and pharmacists from 6 medical centers agreed to interviews (75% VA New England medical center participation). Three main themes regarding antibiotic stewardship were identified from the interviews with pharmacists. Respondents described the importance of (1) a supportive organizational culture, (2) protected time for antibiotic stewardship, and (3) a cohesive organizational structure in the success of antibiotic stewardship programs. Our findings support the CDC core elements for antibiotic stewardship, in particular the importance of leadership commitment in the creation of a culture that supports antibiotic stewardship and in ensuring staff are given sufficient time for antibiotic stewardship efforts. Although a strong supportive culture has been built, strategies focused on fostering increased protected time for antibiotic stewardship and a cohesive organizational structure may be helpful in advancing and sustaining successful antibiotic stewardship programs that improve patient outcomes.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.