17 October 2023
Interactive chat on X: Breaking down the science of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) for patients and the public
Date: Tuesday, 17 October 2023
Where: X (Previously Twitter)
Time: 3pm GMT (4pm BST, 5pm CEST/CAT, 11am EDT)
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a complex and highly scientific topic that has far-reaching implications for public health. The rise of AMR poses a significant threat to our ability to treat common infections and diseases effectively. However, one of the major hurdles in combating AMR lies in the difficulties faced by patients and the public in seeking accurate and understandable information about this critical issue. In this blog post, we will explore the challenges individuals encounter when trying to comprehend AMR and why it is essential to improve awareness and education, especially for diseases impacted by AMR, including rare diseases, cancer, urinary tract infections, TB (Tuberculosis), respiratory tract infections, neglected tropical diseases, dentistry, and other conditions. Common surgeries also place risks on patients when it comes to developing infections, including those that may be resistant to the antimicrobials (e.g., antibiotics) used to prevent or treat them.
AMR is often discussed using a jargon jungle of terminology that can be baffling to the average person. Terms like “antibiotic resistance genes,” “horizontal gene transfer,” and “selective pressure” can leave individuals feeling overwhelmed and confused. This scientific jargon creates a significant barrier for patients and the public who want to understand the basics of AMR.
Another challenge is the scarcity of user-friendly resources that explain AMR in simple terms. While there is a wealth of scientific literature on the subject, finding resources that break down the information into understandable language can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. Patients and their families often struggle to access reliable information that they can use to make informed decisions about their health.
On the flip side, there is also a risk of encountering misinformation or oversimplified explanations of AMR. Some sources may downplay the severity of the issue or offer quick-fix solutions that do not align with scientific consensus. This can lead to misconceptions and potentially harmful practices, such as self-medicating with antibiotics. Language barriers can also be problematic when it comes to breaking down the science of AMR.
When patients and the general public lack the chance to grasp the concept of AMR, they find themselves unable to engage in its prevention and control. Providing accessible education and awareness stands as a crucial cornerstone for empowerment.
– Introductions first few minutes, then questions every 10 minutes thereafter
T1: How would you describe Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) to patients or the public?
T2: Why do you think Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is too scientific for many patients and the public?
T3: How do you think we can break down the science of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) for patients and the public?
T4: What role could charities, patient advocates and other civil society organisations play in breaking down the science of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)?
T5: How can health professionals, or health organisations play a role in breaking down the science of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) for patients and the public?
CT: Any thoughts you would like to add about breaking down the science of AMR for patients and the public?
HOW TO PARTICIPATE
Join us for a 60-minute dialogue on X.com (Previously Twitter) with our panel experts. All stakeholders are welcome to join in.
Start your answers with T1, T2, T3, T4, or CT for transcript purposes.
Answer only after the moderator prompts. Questions will be prompted every 10 minutes but keep answers coming using the relevant T and number. Both panel experts and the public are encouraged to answer.
IMPORTANT! Use the #theAMRnarrative hashtag in all your tweets so that you are visible to others in the chat and captured on the transcript.
Notes: Prior to the event, review the University of Minnesota's Social Media House Rules for a code of conduct applicable to this event.