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Peer-education as a tool to educate on antibiotics, resistance and use in 16–18-year-olds: A feasibility study

McNulty, Cliodna A. M.; Syeda, Rowshonara B.; Brown, Carla L.; Bennett, C. Verity; Schofield, Behnaz; Allison, David G.; Verlander, Neville Q.; Francis, Nick


Cliodna A. M. McNulty

Rowshonara B. Syeda

Carla L. Brown

C. Verity Bennett

Behnaz Schofield
Senior Research Fellow (Paramedics in Primary Care)

David G. Allison

Neville Q. Verlander

Nick Francis


© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. Peer education (PE) interventions may help improve knowledge and appropriate use of antibiotics in young adults. In this feasibility study, health-care students were trained to educate 16–18 years old biology students, who then educated their non-biology peers, using e-Bug antibiotic lessons. Knowledge was assessed by questionnaires, and antibiotic use by questionnaire, SMS messaging and GP record searches. Five of 17 schools approached participated (3 PE and 2 control (usual lessons)). 59% (10/17) of university students and 28% (15/54) of biology students volunteered as peer-educators. PE was well-received; 30% (38/127) intervention students and 55% (66/120) control students completed all questionnaires. Antibiotic use from GP medical records (54/136, 40% of students’ data available), student SMS (69/136, 51% replied) and questionnaire (109/136, 80% completed) data showed good agreement between GP and SMS (kappa = 0.72), but poor agreement between GP and questionnaires (kappa = 0.06). Median knowledge scores were higher post-intervention, with greater improvement for non-biology students. Delivering and evaluating e-Bug PE is feasible with supportive school staff. Single tiered PE by university students may be easier to regulate and manage due to time constraints on school students. SMS collection of antibiotic data is easier and has similar accuracy to GP data.


McNulty, C. A. M., Syeda, R. B., Brown, C. L., Bennett, C. V., Schofield, B., Allison, D. G., …Francis, N. (2020). Peer-education as a tool to educate on antibiotics, resistance and use in 16–18-year-olds: A feasibility study. Antibiotics, 9(4), 146.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 23, 2020
Online Publication Date Mar 30, 2020
Publication Date Apr 1, 2020
Deposit Date Apr 20, 2020
Publicly Available Date Apr 23, 2020
Journal Antibiotics
Electronic ISSN 2079-6382
Publisher MDPI
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Issue 4
Pages 146
Keywords General Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics; Microbiology (medical); Biochemistry; Pharmacology (medical); Microbiology; Infectious Diseases
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Peer-Education as a Tool to Educate on Antibiotics, Resistance and Use in 16–18-Year-Olds: A Feasibility Study (1.9 Mb)


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Copyright Statement
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access
article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution
(CC BY) license (

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