Experiences of carriers of multidrug-resistant organisms: a systematic review

B. Rump*, A. Timen, M. Verweij, M. Hulscher

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


    Objectives: A comprehensive overview of the ways control measures directed at carriers of multidrug-resistant organisms (MDRO) affect daily life of carriers is lacking. In this systematic literature review, we sought to explore how carriers experience being a carrier and how they experience being subjected to control measures by looking at the impact on basic capabilities. Methods: We searched Medline, Embase and PsychINFO until 26 May 2016 for studies addressing experiences of MDRO carriers. Twenty-seven studies were included, addressing experiences with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (n = 21), ESBL (n = 1), multiple MDRO (n = 4) and other (n = 1, not specified). We categorized reported experiences according to Nussbaum's capability approach. Results: Carriage and control measures were found to interfere with quality of care, cause negative emotions, limit interactions with loved ones, cause stigmatization, limit recreational activities and create financial and professional insecurity. Further, carriers have difficulties with full comprehension of the problem of antimicrobial resistance, thus affecting six out of ten basic capabilities. Conclusions: Applying Nussbaum's capability approach visualizes an array of unintended consequences of control measures. Carriers experience stigmatization, especially in healthcare settings, and have limited understanding of their situation and the complexities of antimicrobial resistance.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)274-279
    Number of pages6
    JournalClinical Microbiology and Infection
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


    • Antimicrobial resistance
    • Capability approach
    • Control measures
    • Impact
    • Multidrug-resistant organism


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