Temporal and regional trends of antibiotic use in long-term aged care facilities across 39 countries, 1985-2019: systematic review and meta-analysis

Magdalena Z. Raban*, Peter J. Gates, Claudia Gasparini, Johanna I. Westbrook

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
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Background Antibiotic misuse is a key contributor to antimicrobial resistance and a concern in long-term aged care facilities (LTCFs). Our objectives were to: i) summarise key indicators of systemic antibiotic use and appropriateness of use, and ii) examine temporal and regional variations in antibiotic use, in LTCFs (PROSPERO registration CRD42018107125). Methods & findings Medline and EMBASE were searched for studies published between 1990–2021 reporting antibiotic use rates in LTCFs. Random effects meta-analysis provided pooled estimates of antibiotic use rates (percentage of residents on an antibiotic on a single day [point prevalence] and over 12 months [period prevalence]; percentage of appropriate prescriptions). Meta-regression examined associations between antibiotic use, year of measurement and region. A total of 90 articles representing 78 studies from 39 countries with data between 1985–2019 were included. Pooled estimates of point prevalence and 12-month period prevalence were 5.2% (95% CI: 3.3–7.9; n = 523,171) and 62.0% (95% CI: 54.0–69.3; n = 946,127), respectively. Point prevalence varied significantly between regions (Q = 224.1, df = 7, p<0.001), and ranged from 2.4% (95% CI: 1.9–2.7) in Eastern Europe to 9.0% in the British Isles (95% CI: 7.6–10.5) and Northern Europe (95% CI: 7.7–10.5). Twelve-month period prevalence varied significantly between regions (Q = 15.1, df = 3, p = 0.002) and ranged from 53.9% (95% CI: 48.3–59.4) in the British Isles to 68.3% (95% CI: 63.6–72.7) in Australia. Meta-regression found no association between year of measurement and antibiotic use prevalence. The pooled estimate of the percentage of appropriate antibiotic prescriptions was 28.5% (95% CI: 10.3–58.0; n = 17,245) as assessed by the McGeer criteria. Year of measurement was associated with decreasing appropriateness of antibiotic use over time (OR:0.78, 95% CI: 0.67–0.91). The most frequently used antibiotic classes were penicillins (n = 44 studies), cephalosporins (n = 36), sulphonamides/trimethoprim (n = 31), and quinolones (n = 28). Conclusions Coordinated efforts focusing on LTCFs are required to address antibiotic misuse in LTCFs. Our analysis provides overall baseline and regional estimates for future monitoring of antibiotic use in LTCFs.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0256501
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021

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