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Prognostic uncertainty drives GP antibiotic prescribing in children, study shows

BMJ 2016; 352 doi: (Published 26 February 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;352:i1178
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. London

210.2.1, 210.2.3, 102.1, 102.2, 102.3, 102.4, 102.5, 102.6, 102.7, 102.8, 102.9, 102.10, 202.39.25 top

Uncertainty about prognosis is a major reason that GPs prescribe antibiotics for children with respiratory tract infections, a study of UK primary care has shown.1

Respiratory tract infection is the most common reason parents take their child to see a GP in the UK. Although antibiotics have only marginal benefits they are often prescribed—a situation that has previously been blamed on parental pressure.

“Consultations for respiratory tract infections are more complex than most guidelines assume,” said the authors of the new study, led by Jeremy Horwood, from the centre for academic primary care …

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