Living with Antimicrobial Resistance: A Deep Dive into the Personal Experiences in the UK

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Dr. Jessica Nelson
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Living with Antimicrobial Resistance: A Deep Dive into the Personal Experiences in the UK



The Lived Experiences of AMR Individuals

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is an increasingly significant public health concern, affecting millions of people worldwide. Recently, a study focused on capturing the lived experiences of individuals living with AMR infections in the UK. The aim was to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of these infections on individuals' lives and the support they need to cope with this challenging condition.

Methodology Employed in the Study

The study used a phenomenological qualitative approach, specifically interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA), to delve into the experiences of individuals with AMR infections. This approach allowed researchers to examine and interpret participants' personal and subjective experiences. Participants were selected through purposive sampling, focusing on those diagnosed with an AMR infection for twelve months or longer, aged 18 or above, and receiving care in the UK. The sample consisted of nine individuals, with seven females and two males, and their ages ranged from 26 to 78 years.

Data Collection and Analysis

The research team conducted in-depth semi-structured interviews, which were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. The transcripts were then analyzed using IPA to identify major themes and sub-themes that shed light on the experiences of the participants. Detailed information about the methodology and analysis was provided in the supplementary materials to ensure transparency and reliability.

Key Findings: Marginalization, Isolation, and Empowerment

The findings from the study point to the complex experiences of individuals living with AMR infections. Participants reported feelings of marginalization and isolation, seemingly stemming from a perceived lack of knowledge, information, and support from clinicians. However, they also highlighted experiences of empowerment, often facilitated by support from charities and online groups. These platforms provided much-needed emotional support, coping mechanisms, and information, contributing positively to the participants' mental health and wellbeing.

Global Impact of AMR Infections

While the study focused on the UK, AMR infections are a global concern. The World Health Organization has identified AMR as one of the top 10 global public health threats facing humanity. The personal experiences shared by the participants in the study underscore the urgent need for increased understanding and support for individuals living with AMR, not just in the UK, but globally.

Conclusion: The Need for Improved Understanding and Support

The study's findings highlight the urgent need for improved understanding, information provision, and support for individuals living with AMR infections. The experiences of marginalization and isolation reported by the participants underscore the necessity for increased clinician knowledge and patient support. The empowerment experienced through charities and online groups speaks to the potential of these platforms in helping individuals cope with the mental health challenges associated with AMR. As AMR continues to pose a significant public health threat, it is critical that the voices and experiences of those living with these infections are heard, understood, and used to shape more effective support strategies.