Objective: To explore older adults' and caregivers' knowledge and perceptions of guidelines for appropriate antibiotics use for bacteria in the urine. Design: Semi-structured qualitative interviews. Setting: Infectious disease clinics, community senior living facilities, memory care clinics, and general public. Participants: Patients 65 years or older diagnosed with a urinary tract infection (UTI) in the past two years, or caregivers of such patients. Methods: We conducted interviews between March and July 2023. We developed an interview guide based on the COM-B (capability, opportunity, motivation-behavior) behavior change framework. We thematically analyzed written transcripts of audio-recorded interviews using inductive and deductive coding techniques. Results: Thirty participants (21 patients, 9 caregivers) enrolled. Most participants understood UTI symptoms such as pain during urination and frequent urination. However, communication with multiple clinicians, misinformation, and unclear symptoms that overlapped with other health issues clouded their understanding of asymptomatic bacteriuria (ASB) and UTIs. Some participants worried that clinicians would be dismissive of symptoms if they suggested a diagnosis of ASB without prescribing antibiotics. Many participants felt that the benefits of taking antibiotics for ASB outweighed harms, though some mentioned fears of personal antibiotic resistance if taking unnecessary antibiotics. No participants mentioned the public health impact of potential antibiotic resistance. Most participants trusted information from clinicians over brochures or websites but wanted to review information after clinical conversations. Conclusion: Clinician-focused interventions to reduce antibiotic use for ASB should also address patient concerns during clinical visits, and provide standardized high-quality educational materials at the end of the visit.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere224
JournalAntimicrobial Stewardship and Healthcare Epidemiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 4 2023


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