J.Antimicrob.Chemother. 2017: - (Journal)
Glinz D., Leon Reyes S., Saccilotto R., Widmer A.F., Zeller A., Bucher H.C., Hemkens L.G.
Objectives: To assess the quality of antibiotic prescribing of Swiss primary care physicians with high prescription rates. Methods: In January 2015, we mailed a structured questionnaire to 2900 primary care physicians in Switzerland. They were included in a nationwide pragmatic randomized controlled trial on routine antibiotic prescription monitoring and feedback based on health insurance claims data. We asked them to record the diagnosis and antibiotic treatment for 44 consecutive patients with the most common conditions associated with antibiotic prescribing in primary care. We evaluated if the disease-specific antibiotic prescribing and the proportion of non-recommended antibiotics used, in particular quinolones, were within 'acceptable ranges' using adapted European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption (ESAC) quality indicators. Results: Two hundred and fifty physicians (8.6%) responded, providing 9961 patient records. Responders were similar to the entire physician population. Overall, antibiotics were prescribed to 32.1% of patients. For tonsillitis/pharyngitis, acute otitis media, acute rhinosinusitis and acute bronchitis the acceptable maximum of antibiotic prescriptions was exceeded by 24.4%, 49.6%, 27.4% and 11.5%, respectively. The proportion of non-recommended antibiotics was for all diagnoses above the recommended maximum of 20% (31.5%-88.7% across all conditions). Quinolones were prescribed to 37.2% of women with urinary tract infections, substantially exceeding the recommended maximum of 5%. Conclusions: Antibiotic prescribing quality of Swiss primary care physicians with high prescription rates is low according to the indicators used, with substantial overtreatment of tonsillitis/pharyngitis, acute rhinosinusitis, acute otitis media and acute bronchitis. Routine nationwide and continuous monitoring of antibiotic use and specific interventions are warranted to improve prescribing in primary care