Health> Vol.6 No.2, January 2014

Antibiotics and near-patient testing: Differences in habits between physicians completing or discontinuing a medical audit

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ABSTRACT

Background and Aim: Respiratory tract infection (RTI) is a common reason for consulting primary health care. Antibiotic prescribing for RTIs varies among physicians indicating that national guidelines are not always adhered to. The aim was to study if antibiotic prescribing and use of near-patient tests were different among physicians who complete an audit registration and those who discontinue their participation. Method: A prospective cohort study where physicians participated in an APO (Audit Project Odense) process, making an audit registration for every appointment with a patient who had a respiratory tract infection during 4 weeks in 2008 and 4 weeks in 2009. Between the registrations, a limited educationally oriented intervention was made. 18 Primary Health Care Centres located in three counties in southern of Sweden with 77 primary health care physicians participated. When comparing proportions the Chisquare test was used. Mann Whitney U-test was used when comparing independent groups and Wilcoxon’s signed-rank test was used when comparing dependent groups. Results: Of the 77 physicians, 38 participated only at baseline (group 1) and 39 participated in both registrations (group 2). The overall use of CRP near-patient tests was 37% in group 1 and 28% in group 2 (Chisquare p < 0.001), and the overall use of Strep-A near-patient tests was 31% and 20%, respectively (Chisquare p < 0.001). When the Strep-A near-patient test was negative in pharyngitis/tonsillitis, antibiotics were prescribed to 45% in group 1 and to 12% by group 2 (Chisquare 0.003). Conclusion: In conclusion, this study showed that physicians, who were more inclined to complete audit participation, used near-patient tests and prescribed antibiotics more correctly, according to the national guidelines for respiratory tract infections, than physicians who discontinued the participation. To achieve a rational use of antibiotics, near-patient tests and prescription of antibiotics must be used according to guidelines.

Cite this paper

Hedin, K. , Brorsson, A. , Mölstad, S. and Strandberg, E. (2014) Antibiotics and near-patient testing: Differences in habits between physicians completing or discontinuing a medical audit. Health, 6, 141-148. doi: 10.4236/health.2014.62022.

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