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Positive + Negative Treatment Recs Cut Antibiotic Rx

Findings among children presenting to providers with viral acute respiratory tract infection

WEDNESDAY, May 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- For children with viral acute respiratory tract infection (ARTI), combined use of positive and negative treatment recommendations is associated with reduced risk of antibiotic prescribing, according to a study published in the May/June issue of the Annals of Family Medicine.

Rita Mangione-Smith, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study involving 1,285 pediatric visits motivated by ARTI symptoms. Children were seen by one of 28 pediatric providers, representing 10 practices. Providers and parents completed post-visit surveys. The correlations between provider communication practices, antibiotic prescribing, and parent care ratings were assessed.

The researchers found that providing positive treatment recommendations (suggested actions to reduce symptoms) alone or in conjunction with negative treatment recommendations (ruling out need for antibiotics) correlated with decreased risk of antibiotic prescribing (adjusted risk ratio, 0.48 and 0.15, respectively). The highest possible visit rating was given by parents who received the combination of positive and negative treatment recommendations (adjusted risk ratio, 1.16).

"With the growing threat of antibiotic resistance at the community and individual level, these communication techniques may assist frontline providers in helping to address this pervasive public health problem," the authors write.

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