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Eur J Clin Microbiol Infect Dis. 2013 Jul;32(7):929-35. doi: 10.1007/s10096-013-1828-6. Epub 2013 Jan 30.

Indicators show differences in antibiotic use between general practitioners and paediatricians.

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Service d'Infectiologie, CHU de Nice, Nice, France.


The purpose of this investigation was to adapt to an individual physician level and to the paediatric context a set of drug-specific indicators of outpatient antibiotic use developed by the European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption (ESAC) project, and to describe the differences in antibiotic prescriptions between general practitioners (GPs) and paediatricians. We conducted a retrospective cross-sectional study analysing antibiotic prescriptions in 2009 for children below 16 years of age in south-eastern France, using the National Health Insurance (NHI) outpatient reimbursement database. A generalised linear model adjusted on physicians' characteristics and patient population characteristics was used to compare indicators between GPs and paediatricians. We included 4,921 self-employed GPs and 301 paediatricians. Penicillins accounted for 47% and 45% of all antibiotics prescribed by GPs and paediatricians, respectively, followed by cephalosporins (33% and 39%) and macrolides (14% and 9%). In both specialties, there were around 70% more antibiotic prescriptions during the winter quarters compared to the summer quarters. The 13 indicators we calculated showed wide variations in antibiotic prescriptions among GPs, among paediatricians, and between GPs and paediatricians. In an adjusted econometric model, GPs were found to issue 54% more antibiotic prescriptions than paediatricians, whereas paediatricians used a significantly higher proportion of co-amoxiclav (18% vs. 12%) and cephalosporins (39% vs. 33%) and a significantly lower proportion of macrolides (9% vs. 14%) compared to GPs. A set of 13 indicators may be calculated using reimbursement data to describe outpatient antibiotic use at the physician level. We observed very different prescribing profiles between GPs and paediatricians.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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