Method: We used a co-design methodology to develop patient information sheets on common infections to address antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) in primary care. Three co-design sessions were conducted with five primary care providers (three GPs, one practice nurse, one pharmacist) and six consumers between October 2019-March 2020 in Melbourne. Participants critiqued existing AMS tools, such as decision aids and information sheets, identified key elements required in information sheets and optimised resulting prototypes. Transcripts of video and audio recordings, field notes, images and written responses, were analysed thematically.
Results: Primary care providers and consumers prioritised information such as when to see a doctor, management options, symptoms, danger signs and cause of infection differently, but they agreed content should be communicated in a plain, concise and logical manner, using inclusive and simple language (suitable for a grade 5 level). Illustrations were deemed important in enhancing information, and the sheets should be single-sided and A4-sized, appropriate for use before, during or after consultations.
Discussion: Co-design provided a collaborative forum to systematically design and develop products that meet the needs of both clinicians and consumers. This resulted in the development of seven patient information sheets on common infections that encourage discussion of these infections, conservative management options and appropriate antibiotic use in primary care.
Implications for practice: The patient information sheets are currently being piloted to assess their usability and acceptability in eight general practices across metropolitan and rural Victoria. They will be revised (subject to feedback) before being made available more broadly.