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Fam Pract. 2013 Dec;30(6):634-40. doi: 10.1093/fampra/cmt043. Epub 2013 Aug 19.

Theory-based interventions to reduce prescription of antibiotics--a randomized controlled trial in Sweden.

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1
Primärvården Skåne, Laröd Health Care Centre, Helsingborg.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) are the most common reason for consulting a GP and for receiving an antibiotic prescription, although evidence shows poor benefit but rather increasing antibiotic resistance. Interventions addressing physicians have to take into consideration the complexity of prescribing behaviour.

OBJECTIVE:

To study whether interventions based on behavioural theories can reduce the prescribing of antibiotics against URTIs in primary care. Setting and subjects. GPs at 19 public primary health care centres in southern Sweden.

METHODS:

We performed a randomized controlled study using two behavioural theory-based interventions, the persuasive communication intervention (PCI) and the graded task intervention (GTI), which emerged from social cognitive theory and operant learning theory. GPs were randomized to a control group or one of two intervention groups (PCI and GTI).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Changes in the rate of prescription of antibiotics against URTIs in primary care patients of all ages and in patients aged 0-6 years.

RESULTS:

No significant differences were seen in the prescription rates before and after the interventions when patients of all ages were analysed together. However, for patients aged 0-6 years, there was a significant lower prescription rate in the PCI group (P = 0.037), but not the GTI group, after intervention.

CONCLUSION:

Theory-based interventions have limited impact on reducing the prescription of antibiotics against URTIs in primary care. Future studies are needed to draw firm conclusions about their effects.

KEYWORDS:

Antibiotics; behavioural change interventions; primary health care; upper respiratory tract infections.

PMID:
23960104
DOI:
10.1093/fampra/cmt043
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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