Original Research

Exploring the discord between pharmacy education and practice in antimicrobial stewardship

Devina Chetty, Stephanie Leigh-de Rapper
Health SA Gesondheid | Vol 28 | a2114 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v28i0.2114 | © 2023 Devina Chetty, Stephanie Leigh-de Rapper | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 July 2022 | Published: 27 February 2023

About the author(s)

Devina Chetty, Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
Stephanie Leigh-de Rapper, Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


Background: Antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) is a critical global intervention aimed at optimising antimicrobial use and decreasing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) with pharmacists playing a pivotal role within AMS teams. However, AMS is not comprehensively taught in pharmacy curricula and little is known about the relevance of pharmacists’ training to meet AMS needs in South Africa.

Aim: This study aimed to explore the attitudes, knowledge and perceptions of clinical pharmacists towards AMS participation and training in South Africa.

Setting: This study was conducted among clinically practicing pharmacists in public and private healthcare sectors in South Africa.

Methods: A quantitative exploratory research design was selected for this study. The study was conducted using a self-administered structured survey. Categorical variables were analysed using simple descriptive statistics. Mann–Whitney and Kruskal–Wallis tests were applied to determine differences between variables.

Results: Pharmacists demonstrated good attitudes knowledge and perceptions towards AMS (median 4.3). There was statistical significant differences in AMS participation between pharmacists of different years of experience (p = 0.005), sector of employment (p = 0.01), position of employment (p = 0.015) and presence of AMS programmes (p = 0.004). Pharmacists indicated that their Bachelor of Pharmacy undergraduate studies inadequately prepared them for their role in AMS (median 4.3).

Conclusion: Pharmacists show positive attitudes, knowledge and perceptions towards AMS. Education and training in AMS principles is obtained through master’s programmes, short courses, Continued Professional Development (CPDs) and workshops and insufficiently incorporated in undergraduate programmes.

Contribution: This study confirms that undergraduate pharmacy programmes inadequately prepare pharmacists for their role in AMS.


antimicrobial stewardship; knowledge; perceptions; clinical pharmacists; pharmacy; education

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being


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Crossref Citations

1. The Role of Clinical Pharmacists in Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs (ASPs): A Systematic Review
Ibrahim M Dighriri, Bayader A Alnomci, Mashael M Aljahdali, Hadeel S Althagafi, Raghad M Almatrafi, Wasan G Altwairqi, Ashwaq A Almagati, Abdulaziz M Shunaymir, Ghadeer A Haidarah, Mohmmad H Alanzi, Abdullatif A Hadadi, Hind M Suwaydi, Maha J Aqdi, Hamed N Alharthi, Amaal F Alshahrani
Cureus  year: 2023  
doi: 10.7759/cureus.50151