Increased education may improve awareness of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) however 43% of people aged 16-65 in England lack skills to understand health information. This study aimed to improve patient knowledge on short course antibiotics using a patient information leaflet (PIL) incorporating Health Literacy (HL) techniques supporting the governments’ 5 year 2019 AMR strategy.


This study received ethics approval. A revised Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) checklist for Community Pharmacy PIL incorporating HL techniques was piloted then used for 5-weeks as a counselling tool by 8 consenting community pharmacists. It was handed to patients during the dispensing of short-course antibiotics after which the pharmacists filled out a questionnaire.


106 patients were counselled and all 8 pharmacists completed questionnaires on how the PIL supported their practice.

On a scale of 1 (not at all) to 5 (improved a lot), pharmacists scored how much they thought the PIL could improve patient’s knowledge on appropriate antibiotic use. 63% of pharmacists (5/8) scored the PIL ‘5’ or ‘4’.

63% of pharmacists (5/8) did not feel that the PIL took longer than their standard counselling. 66% (2/3) felt that the extra time was worthwhile.


Pharmacists believed written information using HL techniques led to improved AMR education at the point of antibiotic dispensing.


1.Health Education England. Tackling antimicrobial resistance: educational priorities London; 2018.

2. Rowlands G, et al. A mismatch between population health literacy and the complexity of health information: an observational study. British Journal of General Practice [Internet]. 2015;65(635):e379-e386.

  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Most cited this month Most Cited RSS feed

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error