Effectiveness of a multiple intervention to reduce antibiotic prescribing for respiratory tract symptoms in primary care: randomised controlled trial

To assess the effectiveness of a multiple intervention aimed at reducing antibiotic prescription rates for symptoms of the respiratory tract in primary care.

DESIGN:

Randomised controlled trial.

SUBJECTS:

Twelve peer review groups including 100 general practitioners with their collaborating pharmacists in the region of Utrecht, Netherlands.

INTERVENTION:

The intervention consisted of group education meetings, with a consensus procedure on indication for and type of antibiotics and with training in communication skills; monitoring and feedback on prescribing behaviour; group education for assistants of general practitioners and pharmacists; and education material for patients. The control group did not receive any of these elements.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Antibiotic prescription rates for acute symptoms of the respiratory tract and patients' satisfaction.

RESULTS:

89 general practitioners completed the study (89%). At baseline, prescription rates for antibiotics for respiratory tract symptoms did not differ between intervention and control group (27% v 29%, respectively). After nine months, the prescription rates in the intervention group fell to 23%, whereas the control group's rose to 37% (mean difference in change -12%, 95% confidence interval -18.9% to -4.0%). Multilevel analysis confirmed the results of the unadjusted analysis (intervention effect -10.7%, -20.3% to -1.0%). Patients' satisfaction was high and did not differ in the two groups at baseline or after the intervention.

CONCLUSIONS:

A multiple intervention reduced prescribing rates of antibiotics for respiratory tract symptoms while maintaining a high degree of satisfaction among patients. Further research should focus on the sustainability and cost effectiveness of this intervention.

 

HuisartsengeneeskundeEducational gatheringsFeedbackPatient directed interventionsBehandeling medicatie

 

Auteurs

Welschen I
Kuyvenhoven MM
Hoes AW
Verheij TJ

 

Link

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15297305