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A case study of nurse management of upper respiratory tract infections in general practice

Butler, Christopher Collett, Rees, Mags, Kinnersley, Paul Richard, Rollnick, Stephen and Hood, Kerenza 2001. A case study of nurse management of upper respiratory tract infections in general practice. Journal of Advanced Nursing 33 (3) , pp. 328-333. 10.1046/j.1365-2648.2001.01668.x

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Background.  Nurses increasingly manage acute illness in United Kingdom (UK) general practice. Few data exist about patients routinely consulting with these nurses. There are concerns that providing this additional service will lower thresholds for consulting with an overall increase in workload. Upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) is the commonest reason for consulting. Inappropriate antibiotics promote resistant bacteria. Nurse management of URTI is an ideal opportunity to promote self-care and nonantibiotic management. Aims.  To describe the effects of a specially trained practice nurse managing URTI in a general practice in Cardiff, UK. Methods.  Descriptive study. Results.  Data were collected on 132 patients consulting with the nurse. We also collected data on 234 patients consulting general practitioners (GPs) in the same practice. Patients seen by the nurse were younger and less likely to be given antibiotics at the time of their index illness than those who saw GPs (7% vs. 93%; P < 0·001). During the year following the consultation with the nurse, patients consulted slightly less often and received antibiotics for URTI less often compared with the year preceding this consultation (P=0·02). Their consultation rate for all conditions did not change. The consultation rates for URTI of the patients managed by the GPs remained constant and consultations for all conditions increased (P < 0·01). Conclusions.  Nurse management of URTI did not lower patients’ threshold for future consulting, and patients who saw her were prescribed antibiotics less often.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Systems Immunity Research Institute (SIURI)
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: help seeking behaviour; upper respiratory tract infection; antibiotics; nurse management; acute illness; antimicrobial resistance; general practice
Publisher: Wiley
ISSN: 0309-2402
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2017 03:30

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