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Title: Understanding the epidemiology of MRSA in Europe : do we need to think outside the box?
Authors: Borg, Michael Angelo
Camilleri, Liberato
Waisfisz, Bob
Keywords: Staphylococcus aureus infections -- Europe
Staphylococcus aureus infections -- Epidemiology
Issue Date: 2012-08
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Borg, M. A., Camilleri, L., & Waisfisz, B. (2012). Understanding the epidemiology of MRSA in Europe : do we need to think outside the box? Journal of Hospital Infection, 81(4), 251-256.
Abstract: Background: The epidemiology of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections, using bacteraemia as a marker, shows a striking geographical pattern in Europe. The prevalence of MRSA is low in Northern European countries, increases into central Europe and reaches its highest levels in the Mediterranean region. This has been attributed to varying levels of implementation of infection control and antibiotic stewardship (ICAS) programmes, but reasons for this variation have not been clearly established. Aim: To investigate the possible impact of national cultural dimensions on the epidemi- ology of MRSA in Europe. Methods: Median proportions of MRSA bacteraemia were sourced for countries partici- pating in the EARS-Net surveillance network in 2010, and correlated with the national cultural dimension scores of Hofstede et al. Findings: Significant associations were identified between MRSA proportions and the cultural constructs of uncertainty avoidance (UAI), masculinity (MAS) and power distance. Multiple regression models found significant associations for UAI, MAS and short-term orientation (R2 adjusted 1⁄4 0.475; P < 0.001). The model was found to be predictive of MRSA trends identified in several European countries between 2006 and 2010. Conclusion: Implementation of ICAS programmes often requires behavioural change. Cultural dimensions appear to be key factors affecting perceptions and values among healthcare workers, which in turn are critical for compliance and uptake. Customizing ICAS initiatives to reflect the local cultural background may improve their chances of success.
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