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BACKGROUND: The aim was to explore behavioral factors relating to the prescription and communication of prescription-adherence messages for patients with acute febrile illness, from which to develop a training-and-communication (T&C) intervention to be delivered as part of a clinical trial. METHODS: The study undertook a content analysis of primary, qualitative data collection using in-depth interviews and focus group discussions, informed by the Capability, Opportunity, Motivation (COM-B) theory of behavior, the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF), and Behavior Change Wheel (BCW) approach, in health facilities (39 health workers) and communities (66 community members) in the Shai-Osudoku District of Ghana. RESULTS: Health workers perceive that prescribers' and dispensers' communication with patients is influenced by the following factors: patient's educational level, existing disease conditions, health worker's workload, patient's religion, language barrier between health worker and patient, outcome of laboratory results, and medicine availability. Community members' adherence to prescription was influenced by the availability of money and affordability of medicine (outside of provision by the national health insurance scheme), the severity of the condition, work schedule, and forgetfulness. CONCLUSIONS: Our study contributes to knowledge on nesting qualitative methods in a clinical trial and reveals factors that affect the antibiotic prescription communication process. Tailored messages for patient-specific needs can shape antibiotic prescription adherence behavior and ultimately contribute to decreasing the incidence of antibiotic resistance.

Original publication




Journal article


Clin Infect Dis

Publication Date





S182 - S190


acute febrile illness, antibiotics resistance, prescription adherence communication, prescription-adherence behavior, Humans, Anti-Bacterial Agents, Ghana, Qualitative Research, Drug Resistance, Microbial, Prescriptions, Fever