What we know about media communication on antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance. A systematic review of the scientific literature Articles uri icon

publication date

  • August 2019

start page

  • 1427

end page

  • 1438


  • 8


  • 102

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0738-3991

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-5134


  • Objective: Systematically review the literature regarding media communication about antibiotics and anti-microbial resistance (AMR) to synthesise its key characteristics and impact effectiveness, identifying gaps and areas for further research. Methods: A comprehensive systematic review covering five international databases for articles published between 1st September 2008 and 1st September 2018 was performed using the registered protocol (PROSPERO: CRD42018116464). The search using terms related to media communication and antibiotics or AMR yielded 19 eligible studies, which were analysed and qualitatively synthesised. Results: Research on media communication regarding antibiotics or AMR has rapidly increased in the last decade. 74% of studies used a media content analysis method, while the remaining studies collected data via surveys. Print media were examined in 53% (n = 10), with 74% (n = 14) focused on English language media. Conclusion: Currently, knowledge regarding media communication of antibiotics and AMR is very restricted to English-speaking print media. Further research is required to understand communication on this topic from other media (types and geographical regions) as well as how media effects attitude and behaviour change. Practice implications: Better understanding of media communication regarding antibiotics and AMR may be crucial for policymakers and public health experts when planning strategies to tackle this issue.


  • Information Science


  • anti-bacterial agents; antibiotics; antimicrobial stewardship; communication; health communication