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Antibiotic prescribing quality for children in primary care: an observational study

Williams, Megan Rose, Greene, Giles ORCID:, Naik, Gurudutt ORCID:, Hughes, Kathryn ORCID:, Butler, Christopher C. ORCID: and Hay, Alistair D. 2018. Antibiotic prescribing quality for children in primary care: an observational study. British Journal of General Practice 68 (667) , e90-e96. 10.3399/bjgp18X694409

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Background Overuse and inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics is driving antibiotic resistance. GPs often prescribe antibiotics for upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) in young children despite their marginal beneficial effects. Aim To assess the quality of antibiotic prescribing for common infections in young children attending primary care and to investigate influencing factors. Design and setting An observational, descriptive analysis, including children attending primary care sites in England and Wales. Method The Diagnosis of Urinary Tract infection in Young children study collected data on 7163 children aged <5 years, presenting to UK primary care with an acute illness (<28 days). Data were compared with the European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption Network (ESAC-Net) disease-specific quality indicators to assess prescribing for URTIs, tonsillitis, and otitis media, against ESAC-Net proposed standards. Non-parametric trend tests and χ2 tests assessed trends and differences in prescribing by level of deprivation, site type, and demographics. Results Prescribing rates fell within the recommendations for URTIs but exceeded the recommended limits for tonsillitis and otitis media. The proportion of children receiving the recommended antibiotic was below standards for URTIs and tonsillitis, but within the recommended limits for otitis media. Prescribing rates increased as the level of deprivation decreased for all infections (P<0.05), and increased as the age of the child increased for URTIs and tonsillitis (P<0.05). There were no other significant trends or differences. Conclusion The quality of antibiotic prescribing in this study was mixed and highlights the scope for future improvements. There is a need to assess further the quality of disease-specific antibiotic prescribing in UK primary care settings using data representative of routine clinical practice.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Royal College of General Practitioners
ISSN: 0960-1643
Funders: NIHR-HTA
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 October 2017
Date of Acceptance: 13 September 2017
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2023 07:37

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