Socio-economic disparities in the dispensation of antibiotics in Sweden 2016–2017: An intersectional analysis of individual heterogeneity and discriminatory accuracy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Aims: Antimicrobial resistance presents an increasingly serious threat to global public health, which is directly related to how antibiotic medication is used in society. Actions aimed towards the optimised use of antibiotics should be implemented on equal terms and according to the needs of the population. Previous research results on differences in antibiotic use between socio-economic and demographic groups in Sweden are not entirely coherent, and have typically focused on the effects of singular socio-economic variables. Using an intersectional approach, this study provides a more precise analysis of how the dispensation of antibiotic medication was distributed across socio-economic and demographic groups in Sweden in 2016–2017. Methods: Using register data from a nationwide cohort and adopting an intersectional analysis of individual heterogeneity and discriminatory accuracy, we map the dispensation of antibiotics according to age, sex, country of birth and income. Results: While women and high-income earners had the highest antibiotic dispensation prevalence, no large differences in the dispensation of antibiotics were identified between socio-economic groups. Conclusions: Public-health interventions aiming to support the reduced and optimised use of antibiotics should be directed towards the whole Swedish population rather than towards specific groups. Correspondingly, an increased focus on socio-economic or demographic factors is not warranted in interventions aimed at improving antibiotic prescription patterns among medical practitioners.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • Malmö University
  • Linköping University
  • Region Skåne
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Public Health
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021 Jan 18
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes