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Strategies Needed to Encourage Appropriate Antibiotic Selection

Primary care providers do not always comply with guideline recommendations for antibiotic selection

Strategies Needed to Encourage Appropriate Antibiotic Selection

MONDAY, Nov. 24, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Although primary care providers are generally familiar with guideline recommendations for antibiotic drug selection, they do not always comply with these guidelines, according to research published in the December issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Guillermo V. Sanchez, M.P.H., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues conducted in-depth interviews with 36 primary care providers to explore knowledge, attitudes, and self-reported practices regarding antibiotic drug resistance and appropriate drug selection.

The researchers found that participants were generally familiar with antibiotic drug selection guidelines for common infections, but did not always comply with these guidelines. The belief that non-recommended agents are more likely to cure an infection, concern for patient or parent satisfaction, and fear of infectious complications were cited as reasons for nonadherence. Providers were inconsistent in their definition of broad- and narrow-spectrum antibiotic agents. Although widespread concern was expressed in relation to antibiotic resistance, it was not generally addressed on selection of therapy.

"Future research efforts should be aimed at investigating effective incentives for appropriate antibiotic prescribing and determining alternative communication strategies to encourage use of first-line agents," the authors write. "Although most efforts have focused on reducing unnecessary antibiotic use, more research is needed to clarify which interventions improve antibiotic selection."

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