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Blood tests and better communication skills could cut over-prescribing of antibiotics
Date:5/21/2009

a simple point-of-care blood test.

The trial randomised 20 general practices in the Netherlands, where 40 GPs managed 431 patients with lower respiratory tract infection.

Dr Kerry Hood, Director of the South East Wales Trials Unit said, "The results showed that 54% of GPs practising according to usual care prescribed antibiotics, whereas 27% of those who had been trained in the advanced communication and 31% of the GPs who used the blood test methods did so. Only 23% of GPs who were trained in the advanced communication skills and who used the blood test prescribed antibiotics."

Professor Butler added, "This international collaboration between primary care researchers from Cardiff and Maastricht has shown that both an 'illness focussed' and a 'disease focussed' approach were effective in reducing antibiotic prescribing, but the two approaches combined give the greatest benefit. We need to both communicate better and improve diagnosis to do the best for our patients and to preserve antibiotic effectiveness for our children.

"Importantly, the results showed that prescribing fewer antibiotics did not mean that patients were unwell for longer. Patient's recovery and satisfaction with care were not compromised by GPs not prescribing their patient antibiotics."


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Contact: Dr. Christopher C. Butler
ButlerCC@cardiff.ac.uk
44-292-068-7168
Cardiff University
Source:Eurekalert

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