Prescription of antibiotics to children with acute otitis media in Danish general practice

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

  • Jonas K. Olsen
  • Jesper Lykkegaard
  • Malene Plejdrup Hansen
  • Waldorff, Frans Boch
  • Jørgen Lous
  • Merethe K. Andersen

Background: Acute otitis media (AOM) is a common and most often self-limiting infection in childhood, usually managed in general practice. Even though antibiotics are only recommended when certain diagnostic and clinical criteria are met a high antibiotic prescription rate is observed. The study's objective was to analyse associations between patient- and general practitioner (GP) characteristics and antibiotic prescribing for children with AOM in an effort to explain the high antibiotic prescribing rates. Methods: All general practices in the Northern, Southern and Central regions of Denmark were invited to record symptoms, examinations, findings and antibiotic treatment for all children ≤7 years of age diagnosed with AOM during a four-week winter period in 2017/2018. Associations were analysed by means of multivariate logistic regressions. The study design was cross-sectional. Results: GPs from 60 general practices diagnosed 278 children with AOM of whom 207 (74%) were prescribed antibiotics, most often penicillin V (60%). About half of the children had tympanometry performed. Antibiotic prescribing rates varied considerably between practices (0-100%). Antibiotic prescribing was associated with fever (odds ratio (OR) 3.69 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.93-7.05), purulent ear secretion (OR 2.35 95% CI 1.01-5.50) and poor general condition (OR 3.12 95% CI 1.31-7.46), and the practice's antibiotic prescribing rate to other patients with symptoms of an acute respiratory tract infection (OR 2.85 CI 95% 1.07-7.60) and specifically to other children with AOM (OR 4.15 CI 95% 1.82-9.47). Conclusion: GPs' antibiotic prescribing rates for children with AOM vary considerably even considering the of signs, symptoms, request for antibiotics, and use of tympanometry. Interventions to reduce overprescribing should be targeted high-prescribing practices.

TidsskriftBMC Family Practice
Udgave nummer1
StatusUdgivet - 2020
Eksternt udgivetJa

ID: 258276711