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BackgroundNon-allergist-delivered penicillin allergy de-labelling (PADL) is supported by UK and other national guidelines but is not yet routine practice in UK hospitals. Those who have undergone PADL report high rates of acceptance, but it is unknown why some continue to avoid penicillin, and why some decline testing.ObjectivesTo explore the experiences of patients recently approached for penicillin allergy (penA) assessment and de-label by non-allergists in a UK hospital to determine the barriers and enablers to patient acceptance of PADL.MethodsQualitative study using semi-structured interviews with patients who were penA assessed and de-labelled during an inpatient stay between November 2022 and January 2023. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data.ResultsNineteen patients were interviewed. Patients were largely unaware of the negative impact of penA on their healthcare. Patients had differing views on challenging their penA status while they were acutely unwell, some agreeing that it is the right time to test and others not. Patients declined testing because they felt they were at higher potential risk because they were older or had multiple comorbidities. Some patients who declined testing felt they would have been persuaded if they had received a better explanation of the risks and benefits of PADL.ConclusionsPatients who were successfully de-labelled were positive about the experience. Those who declined testing did so for a variety of reasons including frailty/comorbidities or a fear of testing whilst unwell. Patients highlighted the importance of good communication about the personalized risks and benefits of testing.

Original publication




Journal article


JAC-antimicrobial resistance

Publication Date





Pharmacy Department, Royal Cornwall Hospital, Truro TR1 3LJ, UK.