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The SHARE study: Study on healthcare decision-making processes regarding antibiotic prescription for upper respiratory infections in the Northern German and Dutch Region. Research
The SHARE study: Study on healthcare decision-making processes regarding antibiotic prescription for upper respiratory infections in the Northern German and Dutch Region.
Inappropriate prescription of antibiotics, for instance, to treat a viral infection, is leading to the worrying ‘antibiotic resistance epidemic’ worldwide. Patients and physicians must be careful with antibiotics, but how can we support them?

Within the Ems-Dollart region, antibiotics prescription rates tend to increase towards the Dutch-German border. The reasons for this observed phenomenon still need to be fully understood. Therefore, this study was designed to assess the determinants, including cultural-psycho-socio factors, of antibiotic prescription concerning upper respiratory tract infections within the mentioned high-prevalence regions. More efforts are needed to ensure that antibiotics are used correctly. Therefore, we want to conduct this study to collect context-specific data and to learn from each other across borders to improve decision-making and inform policymakers to reduce unnecessary antibiotic usage within the Ems-Dollart region.

This research project is part of:


How our research benefits to society

We aim to collect data to answer the following two research questions:

  1. What are differences and similarities between Dutch and German healthcare decision-making processes among physicians and patients regarding antibiotic prescribing for upper respiratory infections in the Ems-Dollart region?
  2. How can we design a vignette study to generate information that will enhance decision making concerning antibiotic prescribing behavior?

The study findings can be used to provide policymakers with context-specific data to improve policies and interventions focused on reducing antibiotic resistance in the Ems-Dollart region. Furthermore, our study findings and lessons learned can serve as a base for future research. Our results will be published in scientific journals and presented at congresses to reach a broader audience. Also, we want to inform the general public about our research findings to increase awareness.

Interreg Ems Dollart region
Map: The Ems-Dollart region
  • WHO has declared that antimicrobial resistance is one of humanity's top 10 global public health threats. It occurs when bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites change over time and no longer respond to drugs, making infections more complicated to treat and increasing the risk of disease spread, severe illness and death. Incorrect consumption of antibiotics amplifies antimicrobial resistance. Currently, approximately 700,000 individuals lose their lives because of drug-resistant infections annually worldwide. Without effective action, it will generate 10 million deaths annually by 2050.

  • The University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG) and the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg have teamed up to conduct this research project, which has received financial support from the Lower Saxony Ministry of Science and Culture. This project is part of the coordinated project "Comparison of healthcare structures, processes and outcomes in the Northern German and Dutch cross-border region" (CHARE GD-II), Cross-border Institute of Healthcare Systems and Prevention (CBI).