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PLoS One. 2013 May 10;8(5):e63225. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0063225. Print 2013.

Prescription pattern and its influencing factors in Chinese county hospitals: a retrospective cross-sectional study.

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HuaZhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China.



This study aimed to investigate prescription patterns and influencing factors in Chinese county hospitals.


Prescription quality was evaluated by five indicators proposed by WHO/INRUD. A questionnaire for doctors was designed by our research group. All internists, surgeons, obstetricians, gynecologists and pediatricians from 10 county hospitals in Anhui province were asked to fill the questionnaire. Their prescriptions from May 2011 to April 2012 were analyzed.


Three-hundred and thirty-seven doctors completed valid questionnaires, and 5099 prescriptions were analyzed. The average number of drugs per prescription was 3.52±2.31; the average percentage of generic drugs, antibiotic usage, injection drug usage, and drugs prescribed from the national essential drug list were 96.12%, 29.90%, 20.02% and 48.85%, respectively. Differences in final academic degree and specialty led to differences in all of the five prescription quality indicators. The older doctors tended to use more antibiotics. Doctors with more education, more training on rational drug use, and better acquisition of medicine knowledge prescribe a lower percentage of generic drugs. Moreover, the more supportive the doctor's attitude to national essential medicine policy, the higher the percentage of generic drugs were prescribed. A higher level of medical knowledge was associated with a higher percentage of drugs prescribed from the essential drugs list.


Promoting the education of medical knowledge on doctors, reinforcing the publicity of rational drug use to doctors, and initiating the performance evaluation for doctors are effective ways for improving prescription quality in Chinese county hospitals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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