In this article, three resources pharmacists can use to improve their antimicrobial stewardship research skills are identified.
Composed by: Timothy P. Gauthier, Pharm.D., BCPS, BCIDP
Date Published: 28 March 2021
Upon publishing this article I searched Pubmed for the term “antimicrobial stewardship” and it returned 7,962 results. When items published in the last 10 years were excluded, just 2% of the search results remained. This demonstrates how new the field of antimicrobial stewardship is. In turn, it is really not a surprise that the most recent IDSA guideline on antimicrobial stewardship does not have a single recommendation supported by evidence that is “strong quality”, while it does have 8 recommendations supported by “moderate quality” evidence and 15 recommendations supported by “low quality” evidence.
Recently some of the ID Twitterati engaged in an ASP Twitter chat on the topic of getting started in antimicrobial research. This chat was in collaboration with SERGE-45. It was not solely directed at pharmacists, but many pharmacists participated and several helpful resources were identified during the event. In one tweet Dr. Bookstaver summarized a number of excellent resources that pharmacists can use to improve their antimicrobial stewardship research skills. Running with that information and commentary from others involved in the discussion, I was motivated to compose this article.
The field of antimicrobial stewardship needs well trained researchers. Hopefully this will help to spread the word on three great opportunities to improve antimicrobial stewardship research skills.
1. The Society of Infectious Diseases Research Mini-Series
This can be found here. It includes the following 4 modules: (1) SIDP Research Mini-Series: Getting Started with Research, (2) SIDP Research Mini-Series: Navigating Study Design and Data Capture in Antimicrobial Stewardship Research, (3) SIDP Research Mini-Series: Interpreting and Analyzing Data, and (4) SIDP Research Mini-Series: Disseminating Research Findings. The listed cost is $60 and it includes pharmacist continuing education (CE) credit and BCIDP CE as well. The faculty is a top-notch cast including Dr, Michael D. Nailor, Dr. Michael P. Veve, Dr. Jessina C. McGregor, and Dr. Meghan Jeffres.
2. Society for Healthcare Epidemiology White Papers on Research Methodology
SHEA has published several white papers that are fantastic and a few are related to antimicrobial stewardship research. The full list of white papers can be found here and the topics covered include the following:
- Research Methods in Healthcare Epidemiology and Antimicrobial Stewardship—Observational Studies (June 2016)
- The Evolving Landscape of Healthcare-Associated Infections: Recent Advances in Prevention and a Road Map for Research (May 2016)
- Research Methods in Healthcare Epidemiology and Antimicrobial Stewardship (April 2016)
- Research Methods in Healthcare Epidemiology and Antimicrobial Stewardship: Randomized Controlled Trials (April 2016)
In addition, SHEA conference workshops are available and I have heard positive feedback about these as well.
3. American College of Clinical Pharmacy’s Academy Research & Scholarship Certificate Program
The ACCP academy offers one-year training programs to earn certificates in the areas of (1) leadership and management, (2) research and scholarship, and (3) teaching and learning. The research and scholarship program includes 20 hours of core modules plus 4 hours of elective programming. The syllabus is here and the application is here. Areas covered include methodological approaches to studying medication safety, designing and conducting survey research, adding economic outcomes to a clinical study, special topics in translational research, team building in the academic scholarship venue and other specific research and scholarship needs of new and experienced clinical pharmacists. The core modules include: Research Primer, Research Basics, Statistical Issues, Extending Your Research Tool Kit, and Regulatory and Ethical Issues.
Following attendance of the Research Primer module, the program needs to be completed within 2 years. The cost of the program will include a one-time $150 fee, costs to register for and participate in ACCP Annual Meetings, and the cost of required reading content.
This option will improve overall research and scholarship skills of the participant, which can be applied to antimicrobial stewardship practice. Additional investigator and scholarship research programs from ACCP can be found here as well, including their MeRIT Program, which uses a mentor-mentee design.
Other Readings of Interest
Pagels CM, et al. Designing antimicrobial stewardship initiatives to enhance scientific dissemination. JACCP. 2020.
Morris AM, et al. Research needs in antibiotic stewardship. SHEA. 2019.
McGregor P, Furuno JP. Optimizing Research Methods Used for the Evaluation of Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs. CID. 2014.
Disclosures: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or opinions of any previous, current, or potential future employer.
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