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Previous United Kingdom campaigns targeting antimicrobial resistance (AMR) recommended running multimedia campaigns over an increased timeframe. The 3-year-long Keep Antibiotics Working (KAW) campaign was a mass media campaign in England targeting the public and general practitioners (GPs).


Every year, pre- and post-campaign questionnaire data were collected from the public, whereas post-campaign interview data were obtained from GPs. Data were weighted to allow pre- and post-campaign comparisons between independent samples. Significant changes in nominal and ordinal data were determined using Pearson’s chi-squared (2) and Mann–Whitney U tests, respectively.


Prompted campaign recognition was high, increasing by 6% from 2018 to 2019 (2017: data unavailable; 2018: 68% (680/1,000); 2019: 74% (740/1,000); 2 = 8.742, p = 0.003). Knowledge regarding declining antibiotic effectiveness when taken inappropriately improved following the campaign (net true: pre-2017 = 69.1% (691/1,000); post-2019 = 77.6%; (776/1,000); 2 = 5.753, p = 0.016). The proportion of individuals reporting concern for themselves or for children (≤ 16 years) about AMR increased by 11.2% ( = −5.091, p < 0.001) and 6.0% ( = −3.616, p < 0.001) respectively, pre- to post-campaign. Finally, in 2017, reported confidence to say no to patients requesting antibiotics differed significantly between GPs who were and were not aware of the campaign (net agree: 98.9% (182/184) vs 92.4% (97/105) respectively; 2 = 4.000, p = 0.045).


A high level of prompted campaign recognition was achieved. The KAW campaign improved aspects of AMR knowledge and certain attitudes towards appropriate antimicrobial use. It increased awareness of and concern about AMR, supporting GP confidence to appropriately prescribe antibiotics. Future determination of measurable behaviour changes resulting from AMR campaigns is important.


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