STAR: Stemming the Tide of Antibiotic Resistance

Medical Research Council

Principal / Lead Investigator
Prof Chris Butler

Prof Frank Dunstan, Rebecca Cannings-John

Type of study


Antibiotic resistance has been identified as a high priority nationally and internationally. Inappropriate prescribing drives antimicrobial resistance, wastes money, exposes people to unnecessary side effects, and encourages future consulting. The primary objective of the study is to assess whether exposing prescribers in General Practices to the STAR programme results in fewer antibiotics being dispensed to the practices’ patients. The STAR programme is a readily applicable 5 hour educational programme for general practitioners, integrating a practice-based seminar with on-line learning, followed by a maintenance phase. Sixty six general practices across Wales will behave been randomised in a way that balances for practice size, previous antibiotic prescribing, and proportion of GPs who sign up for the study. The study will compare antibiotic prescribing levels for practices trained via the STAR programme with those not trained. Control practices will be offered the intervention after the initial one year follow-up of the experimental practices is complete. A qualitative study among clinicians will explore components of the intervention that clinicians report finding most useful/powerful and explore ongoing use of the web site and the communication skills. Finally, a cost effectiveness analysis from an NHS perspective will also be undertaken.

Link with RDG / CSG or similar

Start date
June 2006

End date
May 2009