Changing Antibiotic Prescribing in a Primary Care Network: The Role of Readiness to Change and Group Dynamics in Success

Suratha Elango*, Julia E. Szymczak, Ian M. Bennett, Rinad S. Beidas, Rachel M. Werner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Overuse of broad-spectrum antibiotics in outpatient pediatrics remains a significant issue and there is limited evidence on how to effectively implement outpatient stewardship interventions. This study examines the relationship between readiness to change and modifiable factors affecting success of a primary care network antibiotic stewardship intervention. A survey designed to measure readiness to accept a health care innovation was administered to 209 clinicians. Practices were split in half into “high” versus “low” readiness to change. Semistructured qualitative interviews were conducted with 2 to 3 clinicians from 6 practices in each readiness group. High readiness practices trended toward greater improvements between years (8% to 26% vs 2% to 10% mean improvement). High readiness practice clinicians described more open communication, active group change process, and supportive underlying group cohesion. Low readiness practice clinicians functioned more independently and were influenced more by external forces but were developing group cohesion through the initiative. System-wide interventions should be appropriately tailored to different levels of readiness to change, specifically addressing group dynamics and their differing foci of influence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)154-161
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Medical Quality
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


  • antibiotic stewardship
  • group dynamics
  • primary care
  • readiness to change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy


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