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Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2013 Mar;34(3):274-83. doi: 10.1086/669524. Epub 2013 Jan 24.

Clinicians' knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding infections with multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacilli in intensive care units.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA.



To assess how healthcare professionals caring for patients in intensive care units (ICUs) understand and use antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) for multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacilli (MDR-GNB).


A knowledge, attitude, and practice survey assessed ICU clinicians' knowledge of antimicrobial resistance, confidence interpreting AST results, and beliefs regarding the impact of AST on patient outcomes.


Sixteen ICUs affiliated with NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.


Attending physicians and subspecialty residents with primary clinical responsibilities in adult or pediatric ICUs as well as infectious diseases subspecialists and clinical pharmacists.


Participants completed an anonymous electronic survey. Responses included 4-level Likert scales dichotomized for analysis. Multivariate analyses were performed using generalized estimating equation logistic regression to account for correlation of respondents from the same ICU.


The response rate was 51% (178 of 349 eligible participants); of the respondents, 120 (67%) were ICU physicians. Those caring for adult patients were more knowledgeable about antimicrobial activity and were more familiar with MDR-GNB infections. Only 33% and 12% of ICU physicians were familiar with standardized and specialized AST methods, respectively, but more than 95% believed that AST improved patient outcomes. After adjustment for demographic and healthcare provider characteristics, those familiar with treatment of MDR-GNB bloodstream infections, those aware of resistance mechanisms, and those aware of AST methods were more confident that they could interpret AST results and/or request additional in vitro testing.


Our study uncovered knowledge gaps and educational needs that could serve as the foundation for future interventions. Familiarity with MDR-GNB increased overall knowledge, and familiarity with AST increased confidence interpreting the results.

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