How to participate:
Join us for a 60-minute dialogue on X with our panel experts. All stakeholders are welcome.
Start your answers with T1, T2, T3, T4, or CT for transcript purposes.
Answer only after the moderator prompts. Questions will be prompted every 10 minutes but keep answers coming using the relevant T and number. Both panel experts and the public are encouraged to answer.
Use the #theAMRnarrative hashtag in all your posts so that you are visible to others in the chat and captured on the transcript.
In our digital age, information flows at an unprecedented rate, and misinformation spreads like wildfire. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the term “infodemic,” describing the excessive proliferation of unverified or misleading information, often through social media and online channels. While infodemics typically revolve around public health crises, their effects extend beyond immediate concerns, influencing various health-related issues, including Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR).
Before delving into how the infodemic affects AMR, let’s define what an infodemic is. It’s characterised by the rapid dissemination of information, both accurate and false, which can make it challenging for people to find trustworthy sources and make informed decisions. The infodemic may lead to panic, misinformation, and mistrust in authoritative sources, making it a breeding ground for public health issues.
The interplay between the infodemic and AMR is multifaceted. Misuse of antibiotics is one of the most direct ways the infodemic impacts AMR, as it spreads misinformation about antibiotic use, encouraging misguided advice, self-diagnosis, and quack remedies that lead to the improper use of antibiotics. Trust erosion occurs when contradictory information abounds during an infodemic, causing people to question healthcare authorities, resulting in scepticism about antibiotic guidelines and recommendations, and contributing to non-compliance with prescribed treatments. Additionally, alternative therapies gain popularity during an infodemic, promising quick cures for infections and leading people to opt for unverified remedies over proper medical care, potentially delaying the administration of appropriate antibiotics.
To address the adverse impact of the infodemic on AMR, several strategies are crucial. Enhancing health literacy is essential to help the public distinguish reliable information from misinformation, promoting education about responsible antibiotic use and the dangers of AMR. Ensuring communication transparency, with healthcare authorities maintaining open and clear communication with the public, is essential for countering the influence of misleading narratives. Media outlets and social media platforms must shoulder social responsibility by curbing the spread of false health information, implementing fact-checking mechanisms, and promoting verified sources to reduce the infodemic’s impact. Encouraging healthcare professionals to actively engage with patients, addressing their concerns and providing accurate information about AMR, helps build trust and ensures proper antibiotic use.
When patients’ lives are at stake, trustworthy information is crucial and all of us can play a role, including health authorities and professionals, charities, community leaders, patient, and public advocates.
– Introductions first
T1: How would you define an infodemic?
T2: Why do you think focusing on the AMR infodemic is important to patients and the public?
T3: Have you heard of or seen any misinformation, myths or fake news related to AMR which could impact patients’ lives and the public?
T4: Why are different stakeholders important to fighting the AMR infodemic for patients and the public? (e.g., charities, patients, advocates, health professionals)
T5: How do you think storytelling and sharing personal experiences could impact the AMR infodemic?
CT: Any thoughts you would like to add about how an AMR infodemic can impact patients’ lives and the public?
How to participate:
1. The session will be in a text format
2. To join, login to X.com (Previously Twitter) and search for the hashtag #theAMRnarrative making sure to select “latest” in the top bar so that the stream of posts comes up. Refresh the latest posts again if you leave the stream and return.
3. We start with introductions for the first few minutes. Tell us who you are and what you do.
4. Questions will be prompted every 10 minutes. Start your answers with the relevant T and number and always end with the hashtag #theAMRnarrative
5. The session can move quite quickly if many people take part, therefore we advise our guests to prepare answers in advance. The questions can be viewed above
6. First and foremost, it’s the use of the hashtag that makes a dialogue like this work. Watch out for spelling mistakes and remember “the” – (i.e., #theAMRnarrative not #AMRnarrative
More can be read about this event at CIDRAP website here.
Notes: Prior to the event, review the University of Minnesota’s Social Media House Rules for a code of conduct applicable to this event.