Understanding and changing human behaviour—antibiotic mainstreaming as an approach to facilitate modification of provider and consumer behaviour

  • Cecilia Stålsby Lundborg Global Health, IHCAR, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Ashok J. Tamhankar Global Health, IHCAR, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; and Indian Initiative for Management of Antibiotic Resistance (IIMAR), Department of Environmental Medicine, R.D. Gardi Medical College, Ujjain, India
Keywords: Antibiotic mainstreaming, antibiotics, behaviour change theories, behaviour modification, human behaviour

Abstract

This paper addresses: 1) Situations where human behaviour is involved in relation to antibiotics, focusing on providers and consumers; 2) Theories about human behaviour and factors influencing behaviour in relation to antibiotics; 3) How behaviour in relation to antibiotics can change; and, 4) Antibiotic mainstreaming as an approach to facilitate changes in human behaviour as regards antibiotics. Influencing human behaviour in relation to antibiotics is a complex process which includes factors like knowledge, attitudes, social norms, socio-economic conditions, peer pressure, experiences, and bio-physical and socio-behavioural environment. Further, key concepts are often perceived in different ways by different individuals. While designing and implementing projects or programmes for behavioural change with respect to antibiotics for professionals or consumers it is helpful to consider theories or models of behaviour change, e.g. the ‘stages of change model', including pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, and maintenance. People in different stages of change are susceptible to different behaviour modification strategies. Application of marketing principles to ‘global good', so-called ‘social marketing', to improve ‘welfare of the individual and society' is gaining increased attention in public health. In conclusion, just providing correct knowledge is not sufficient although it is a pre-requisite for behaviour modification in the desired direction. We can never change the behaviour of any other human, but we can facilitate for others to change their own behaviour. One possibility is to implement ‘antibiotic mainstreaming' as a potentially effective way for behaviour modification, i.e. to address consequences for maintaining effective antibiotics in all activities and decisions in society.

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Published
2014-04-15
How to Cite
Stålsby Lundborg, C., & Tamhankar, A. J. (2014). Understanding and changing human behaviour—antibiotic mainstreaming as an approach to facilitate modification of provider and consumer behaviour. Upsala Journal of Medical Sciences, 119(2), 125–133. https://doi.org/10.3109/03009734.2014.905664