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Clin Pediatr (Phila). 1998 Nov;37(11):665-71.

Current attitudes regarding use of antimicrobial agents: results from physician's and parents' focus group discussions.

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  • 1Division of Laboratory Systems, Public Health Practice Program Office, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.


Antibiotics are widely prescribed for children with nonspecific upper respiratory tract infections, contributing to the recent emergence of resistant pneumococci. To understand the reasons for the overprescription of antibiotics, we conducted focus groups with parents and with pediatricians and family physicians to assess their attitudes regarding the use of antibiotics. Physicians asserted that their own antibiotic prescribing could be safely reduced. Parental expectation to receive antibiotics was a major factor influencing their overuse of antibiotics. Parents indicated that they would be satisfied with the medical visit even if antibiotics were not prescribed, provided the physician explained the reasons for the decision. This study highlights differences in physician and parent perceptions about antibiotic overuse and suggests that educational efforts to narrow this communication gap will be important for improving antibiotic use.

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