Table 1

An analytical framework developing categories and themes for patients’ experiences of infection management in secondary care


“I wasn't given any education into what to do [with my antibiotics]. The 5thday I felt well and so thought I would just stop taking the treatment. I was fortunate that my sister explained to me and made me complete the course” [24-year-old female]

Adherence supportInformation provision

“Especially I think that you are often given more information when you are taking other medication… I have allergies to penicillin so always I have to know what kind of antibiotic I have been given. So unless your issues are more complicated, that's when they give you more information, otherwise I feel that they don t provide you with enough” [24-year-old female No. 2]

Comparison with other treatments

“I like to go and see the doctor… Online can't see me [sic]. Infection is a thousand different things and online can't confidently tell you, this is what you have…” [65-year-old male]“…you are not an individual to them [corporate pharmacists]. In our case, I think we have the option to be sort of individuals. That is what I find lovely about our current pharmacy!” [69-year-old male]

SourcesInformation provision/communication

“I think what the problem that I have experienced is, is that they will give you a leaflet to read and I will have to go and research it myself. This is rather than the doctor taking the time to sit down and talk about how it might affect you, what exactly is in it [the antibiotic]—you know a proper consultation.” [23-year-old female]“Rather than sitting down and taking the time to explain, because they use a lot of medical terminology that I do not know what they're talking about to be honest. I think that they need to take more time to be honest to sit down and make sure that the patient knows exactly what they are putting in your body and exactly what all the side effects were. Because I didn't know what I was reacting to…” [24-year-old female]


“I think sometimes the doctors normally come and diagnose you they usually tell…. They don't necessarily tell you what they are giving you, they usually prescribe it. Then the nurse just comes along with a pot full of drugs and you just take them. I think, unless you are intrigued and ask for it then the nurse will give you that information.” [30-year-old female]

HCP—Patient communication of information

“When you go into hospital, you feel as though the illness is not yours. You go in to hospital and everyone takes over, like ‘we do this then we do that later’. You have no ownership in a way. You are going through it but you have no ownership over what is being done for you or what medication you are receiving.” [23-year-old female]

Decision-making processCommunication

“Tell me yes or tell me no… If you can't fix it I don't want to see you again because there will be no point… We've tried this it's not worked so we tried that… it is endless…” [65-year-old male]


“You know, the hospitals I have experienced in [region]—I am not really keen based on the lack of information. It is more about; we're doing this operation—get you in, get you out.” [23-year-old female]

Hospital variability

“When I went to A&E I visited my GP … It is more about telling your GP what the symptoms were and what treatment you had rather than exactly what the infection is” [30-year-old female]“My GP never knew anything. She had scheduled me in to have the hernia, but the appendix went first. And she was “oh have you…” [53-year-old male]

HCP—HCP communication of information

“For me, I do not know the difference between an allergy and side effects. I would normally just try and cope with it and not go back to the doctors.” [24-year-old female]“I left it a long time and then I got an infection tracking all the way up [my leg]. I went into A&E as I couldn't walk. When I was there they brought some student doctors and said “how bad is this leg” and I thought [this is bad]!” [60-year-old male]

Personal experienceInfluence on future attitudes and behaviours

“They asked whether he was allergic and I said that I do not know he had never had them. After being given them he really severely reacted. He blew up with vomiting and was very very sick. We had to go back to casualty and get that sorted. So the thing that worries me about that is that I remember someone telling me that if you routinely have an operation, you are given penicillin routinely so it worries me whether that would have an effect if he was ill abroad…” [52-year-old female]

Proxy experience

“I read an article a while ago about antibiotics and how they made people severely ill. A few people have died. I think it's just like… where I have heard about bad experiences…. you know they have never really pulled through for me.” [21-year-old female]

  • This data is an extract of quotes derived from thematic analysis of focus group interviews exploring participants’ experiences of infection management in secondary care pathways.

  • A&E, accident and emergency department; GP, general (primary care) practitioner; HCP, healthcare professional.