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An illness-focused interactive booklet to optimise management and medication for childhood fever and infections in out-of-hours primary care: study protocol for a cluster randomised trial

de Bont, Eefje G. P. M., Dinant, Geert-Jan, Elshout, Gijs, van Well, Gijs, Francis, Nicholas Andrew ORCID:, Winkens, Bjorn and Cals, Jochen W. L. 2016. An illness-focused interactive booklet to optimise management and medication for childhood fever and infections in out-of-hours primary care: study protocol for a cluster randomised trial. Trials 17 (1) , 547. 10.1186/s13063-016-1667-8

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Background Fever is the most common reason for a child to be taken to a general practitioner (GP), especially during out-of-hours care. It is mostly caused by self-limiting infections. However, antibiotic prescription rates remain high, especially during out-of-hours care. Anxiety and lack of knowledge among parents, and perceived pressure to prescribe antibiotics amongst GPs, are important determinants of excessive antibiotic prescriptions. An illness-focused interactive booklet has the potential to improve this by providing parents with information about fever self-management strategies. The aim of this study is to develop and determine the effectiveness of an interactive booklet on management of children presenting with fever at Dutch GP out-of-hours cooperatives. Methods/design We are conducting a cluster randomised controlled trial (RCT) with 20 GP out-of-hours cooperatives randomised to 1 of 2 arms: GP access to the illness-focused interactive booklet or care as usual. GPs working at intervention sites will have access to the booklet, which was developed in a multistage process. It consists of a traffic light system for parents on how to respond to fever-related symptoms, as well as information on natural course of infections, benefits and harms of (antibiotic) medications, self-management strategies and ‘safety net’ instructions. Children < 12 years of age with parent-reported or physician-measured fever are eligible for inclusion. The primary outcome is antibiotic prescribing during the initial consultation. Secondary outcomes are (intention to) (re)consult, antibiotic prescriptions during re-consultations, referrals, parental satisfaction and reassurance. In 6 months, 20,000 children will be recruited to find a difference in antibiotic prescribing rates of 25% in the control group and 19% in the intervention group. Statistical analysis will be performed using descriptive statistics and by fitting two-level (GP out-of-hours cooperative and patient) random intercept logistic regression models. Discussion This will be the first and largest cluster RCT evaluating the effectiveness of an illness-focused interactive booklet during GP out-of-hours consultations with febrile children receiving antibiotic prescriptions. It is hypothesised that use of the booklet will result in a reduced number of antibiotic prescriptions, improved parental satisfaction and reduced intention to re-consult.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Publisher: BioMed Central
ISSN: 1745-6215
Funders: Metherlands organisation for health research
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 June 2017
Date of Acceptance: 20 October 2016
Last Modified: 02 Nov 2022 11:11

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