Interventions to improve antibiotic prescribing practices in ambulatory care

University of Tennessee, Pediatrics, Le Bonheur Children's Medical Center, 50 N Dunlap St., Memphis, TN 38103, USA.
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) (Impact Factor: 5.94). 02/2005; 19(4):CD003539. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003539.pub2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The development of resistance to antibiotics by many important human pathogens has been linked to exposure to antibiotics over time. The misuse of antibiotics for viral infections (for which they are of no value) and the excessive use of broad spectrum antibiotics in place of narrower spectrum antibiotics have been well-documented throughout the world. Many studies have helped to elucidate the reasons physicians use antibiotics inappropriately.
To systematically review the literature to estimate the effectiveness of professional interventions, alone or in combination, in improving the selection, dose and treatment duration of antibiotics prescribed by healthcare providers in the outpatient setting; and to evaluate the impact of these interventions on reducing the incidence of antimicrobial resistant pathogens.
We searched the Cochrane Effective Practice and Organisation of Care Group (EPOC) specialized register for studies relating to antibiotic prescribing and ambulatory care. Additional studies were obtained from the bibliographies of retrieved articles, the Scientific Citation Index and personal files.
We included all randomised and quasi-randomised controlled trials (RCT and QRCT), controlled before and after studies (CBA) and interrupted time series (ITS) studies of healthcare consumers or healthcare professionals who provide primary care in the outpatient setting. Interventions included any professional intervention, as defined by EPOC, or a patient-based intervention.
Two review authors independently extracted data and assessed study quality.
Thirty-nine studies examined the effect of printed educational materials for physicians, audit and feedback, educational meetings, educational outreach visits, financial and healthcare system changes, physician reminders, patient-based interventions and multi-faceted interventions. These interventions addressed the overuse of antibiotics for viral infections, the choice of antibiotic for bacterial infections such as streptococcal pharyngitis and urinary tract infection, and the duration of use of antibiotics for conditions such as acute otitis media. Use of printed educational materials or audit and feedback alone resulted in no or only small changes in prescribing. The exception was a study documenting a sustained reduction in macrolide use in Finland following the publication of a warning against their use for group A streptococcal infections. Interactive educational meetings appeared to be more effective than didactic lectures. Educational outreach visits and physician reminders produced mixed results. Patient-based interventions, particularly the use of delayed prescriptions for infections for which antibiotics were not immediately indicated effectively reduced antibiotic use by patients and did not result in excess morbidity. Multi-faceted interventions combining physician, patient and public education in a variety of venues and formats were the most successful in reducing antibiotic prescribing for inappropriate indications. Only one of four studies demonstrated a sustained reduction in the incidence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria associated with the intervention.
The effectiveness of an intervention on antibiotic prescribing depends to a large degree on the particular prescribing behaviour and the barriers to change in the particular community. No single intervention can be recommended for all behaviours in any setting. Multi-faceted interventions where educational interventions occur on many levels may be successfully applied to communities after addressing local barriers to change. These were the only interventions with effect sizes of sufficient magnitude to potentially reduce the incidence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Future research should focus on which elements of these interventions are the most effective. In addition, patient-based interventions and physician reminders show promise and innovative methods such as these deserve further study.

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    • "However, in another report, there was no improvement in antibiotic use after the national antibiotic campaign [52]. Systematic reviews showed that multifaceted interventions involving both physicians (active education through seminars and visits) and the public/patients (through written material and mass media) seem moderately more effective than single interventions, in decreasing unnecessary antibiotic use [53] [54]. These reports suggest that public campaign through written material and mass media could be more effective if physicians facilitate the transmission of information about antibiotic use to the public including patients [55]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Widespread antimicrobial use and concomitant resistance have led to a significant threat to public health. Because inappropriate use and overuse of antibiotics based on insufficient knowledge are one of the major drivers of antibiotic resistance, education about prudent antibiotic use aimed at both the prescribers and the public is important. This review investigates recent studies on the effect of interventions for promoting prudent antibiotics prescribing. Up to now, most educational efforts have been targeted to medical professionals, and many studies showed that these educational efforts are significantly effective in reducing antibiotic prescribing. Recently, the development of educational programs to reduce antibiotic use is expanding into other groups, such as the adult public and children. The investigation of the contents of educational programs for prescribers and the public demonstrates that it is important to develop effective educational programs suitable for each group. In particular, it seems now to be crucial to develop appropriate curricula for teaching medical and nonmedical (pharmacy, dentistry, nursing, veterinary medicine, and midwifery) undergraduate students about general medicine, microbial virulence, mechanism of antibiotic resistance, and judicious antibiotic prescribing.
    01/2015; 2015:1-13. DOI:10.1155/2015/214021
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    • "In order to reduce the inappropriate overprescribing of antibiotics several countries have initiated practice intervention programmes focusing on both professionals and patients [Arnold and Straus, 2005]. In 2007, the European Community awarded a grant to the project Health Alliance for Prudent Prescribing, Yield and Use of Antimicrobial Drugs in the Treatment of Respiratory Tract Infections (Happy Audit) with the aim of reducing inappropriate antibiotic use in patients with respiratory tract infections. "
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    ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to describe the antibiotic prescribing rate in patients with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (AECOPD), to analyse predictors for antibiotic prescribing and to explore the influence of the use C-reactive protein (CRP) rapid test. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was carried out in January and February 2008 in primary care. General practitioners (GPs) from six countries (Denmark, Sweden, Lithuania, Russia, Spain and Argentina) registered all patients with AECOPD during a 3-week period. A multilevel logistic regression model was estimated using two hierarchical levels, (i) patients and (ii) physicians, and was used to analyse the association between antibiotic prescribing and potential predictors for antibiotic use: patients' age and gender, duration and symptoms and signs of exacerbations (fever, cough, dyspnoea, sputum volume and purulence) and the results of the CRP test. RESULTS: A total of 617 GPs registered 1233 patients with AECOPD. A total of 970 patients (79%) were prescribed antibiotics, varying from 49% (Denmark) to 93% (Russia). The presence of purulent sputum was the strongest predictor for antibiotic treatment (odds ratio [OR] 8.7; 95% confidence interval [CI] 5.9-12.8). CRP determination was carried out mainly in Denmark and Sweden and its use was the strongest protective factor for antibiotic therapy (OR 0.3; 95% CI 0.2-0.6). GPs that used CRP testing weighted purulent sputum lower than GPs who did not use CRP testing. CRP values had a strong influence on the antibiotic prescribing rate. CONCLUSIONS: Antibiotic treatment for AECOPD is very high. This study shows that GPs performing CRP rapid tests prescribe fewer antibiotics than those who do not.
    Therapeutic Advances in Respiratory Disease 01/2013; 7(3). DOI:10.1177/1753465812472387 · 1.95 Impact Factor
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    • "The minimum constituents of an AMT are a lead clinician, lead infection specialist and lead antimicrobial pharmacist plus additional members depending on local resources [7] [8]. The evidence to support the effectiveness of a variety of stewardship tools has also been subjected to systematic review [7] [9] [10], the last two [9] [10] of which are currently being updated. Some additional national nonrecurring resource was made available by the Scottish Government Health Department to support the availability of antimicrobial pharmacists within each NHS board, recognising the pivotal role of the antimicrobial pharmacist within the AMT [11]. "
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    ABSTRACT: In 2008, the Scottish Management of Antimicrobial Resistance Action Plan (ScotMARAP) was published by the Scottish Government. One of the key actions was initiation of the Scottish Antimicrobial Prescribing Group (SAPG), hosted within the Scottish Medicines Consortium, to take forward national implementation of the key recommendations of this action plan. The primary objective of SAPG is to co-ordinate and deliver a national framework or programme of work for antimicrobial stewardship. This programme, led by SAPG, is delivered by NHS National Services Scotland (Health Protection Scotland and Information Services Division), NHS Quality Improvement Scotland, and NHS National Education Scotland as well as NHS board Antimicrobial Management Teams. Between 2008 and 2010, SAPG has achieved a number of early successes, which are the subject of this review: (i) through measures to optimise prescribing in hospital and primary care, combined with infection prevention measures, SAPG has contributed significantly to reducing Clostridium difficile infection rates in Scotland; (ii) there has been engagement of all key stakeholders at local and national levels to ensure an integrated approach to antimicrobial stewardship within the wider healthcare-associated infection agenda; (iii) development and implementation of data management systems to support quality improvement; (iv) development of training materials on antimicrobial stewardship for healthcare professionals; and (v) improving clinical management of infections (e.g. community-acquired pneumonia) through quality improvement methodology. The early successes achieved by SAPG demonstrate that this delivery model is effective and provides the leadership and focus required to implement antimicrobial stewardship to improve antimicrobial prescribing and infection management across NHS Scotland.
    International journal of antimicrobial agents 07/2011; 38(1):16-26. DOI:10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2011.02.005 · 4.26 Impact Factor
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Sandra R Arnold