Michael Silverman, MD *; Marcus Povitz, MDCM, MSc *; Jessica M. Sontrop, PhD; Lihua Li, PhD; Lucie Richard, MA; Sonny Cejic, MD; Salimah Z. Shariff, PhD
Disclaimer: Parts of this material are based on data and information compiled and provided by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). However, the analyses, conclusions, opinions, and statements expressed herein are those of the authors and not necessarily those of CIHI. This study was conducted at the ICES Western Site. ICES is funded by an annual grant from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care. Core funding for ICES Western is provided by the Academic Medical Organization of Southwestern Ontario, the Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, and the Lawson Health Research Institute. The opinions, results, and conclusions reported in this paper are those of the authors and are independent from the funding sources. No endorsement by ICES or the funding agencies is intended or should be inferred.
Acknowledgment: The authors thank IMS Brogan for use of its drug information database.
Disclosures: Authors have disclosed no conflicts of interest. Forms can be viewed at www.acponline.org/authors/icmje/ConflictOfInterestForms.do?msNum=M16-1131.
Editors' Disclosures: Christine Laine, MD, MPH, Editor in Chief, reports that she has no financial relationships or interests to disclose. Darren B. Taichman, MD, PhD, Executive Deputy Editor, reports that he has no financial relationships or interests to disclose. Cynthia D. Mulrow, MD, MSc, Senior Deputy Editor, reports that she has no relationships or interests to disclose. Deborah Cotton, MD, MPH, Deputy Editor, reports that she has no financial relationships or interest to disclose. Jaya K. Rao, MD, MHS, Deputy Editor, reports that she has stock holdings/options in Eli Lilly and Pfizer. Sankey V. Williams, MD, Deputy Editor, reports that he has no financial relationships or interests to disclose. Catharine B. Stack, PhD, MS, Deputy Editor for Statistics, reports that she has stock holdings in Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson.
Reproducible Research Statement:Study protocol: Available from Dr. Silverman (e-mail, Michael.Silverman@sjhc.london.on.ca). Statistical code: The technical appendix and statistical code are available from Dr. Silverman (e-mail, Michael.Silverman@sjhc.london.on.ca). Data set: Ontario's health administrative data are legally restricted under the Personal Health Information Privacy Act. Data used in this study are maintained by ICES. A request for the data used in preparation of the results can be made through ICES' Data Analytical Service (www.ices.on.ca/Data-Services). Information on ICES and Ontario privacy regulations are available from the ICES Privacy Officer (e-mail, email@example.com). Additional contact information is available at www.ices.on.ca/Data-and-Privacy/Privacy at ICES/Questions-or-Complaints.
Requests for Single Reprints: Michael F. Silverman, MD, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, St. Joseph's Hospital, Room B3-404. 268 Grosvenor, London, Ontario N6A 4V2, Canada; e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current Author Addresses: Dr. Silverman: Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, St. Joseph's Health Care, Room B3-404, 268 Grosvenor Street, London, Ontario N6A 4V2, Canada.
Drs. Povitz, Sontrop, Li, and Shariff and Ms. Richard: The Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences at Western, Victoria Hospital, Room ELL-215, 800 Commissioners Road East, London, Ontario N6A 5W9, Canada.
Dr. Cejic: Byron Family Medical Centre, 1228 Commissioners Road West, London, Ontario N6K 1C7, Canada.
Author Contributions: Conception and design: M. Silverman, M. Povitz, L. Richard, S.Z. Shariff.
Analysis and interpretation of the data: M. Silverman, M. Povitz, J.M. Sontrop, L. Li, L. Richard, S. Cejic, S.Z. Shariff.
Drafting of the article: M. Silverman, M. Povitz, J.M. Sontrop, L. Richard, S. Cejic.
Critical revision for important intellectual content: M. Silverman, M. Povitz, J.M. Sontrop, S.Z. Shariff.
Final approval of the article: M. Silverman, M. Povitz, J.M. Sontrop, L. Li, L. Richard, S. Cejic, S.Z. Shariff.
Statistical expertise: L. Li, L. Richard, S.Z. Shariff.
Obtaining of funding: M. Silverman, S.Z. Shariff.
Administrative, technical, or logistic support: L. Richard.
Collection and assembly of data: L. Li, S.Z. Shariff.
Reducing inappropriate antibiotic prescribing for acute upper respiratory tract infections (AURIs) requires a better understanding of the factors associated with this practice.
To determine the prevalence of antibiotic prescribing for nonbacterial AURIs and whether prescribing rates varied by physician characteristics.
Retrospective analysis of linked administrative health care data.
Primary care physician practices in Ontario, Canada (January–December 2012).
Patients aged 66 years or older with nonbacterial AURIs. Patients with cancer or immunosuppressive conditions and residents of long-term care homes were excluded.
Antibiotic prescriptions for physician-diagnosed AURIs. A multivariable logistic regression model with generalized estimating equations was used to examine whether prescribing rates varied by physician characteristics, accounting for clustering of patients among physicians and adjusting for patient-level covariates.
The cohort included 8990 primary care physicians and 185 014 patients who presented with a nonbacterial AURI, including the common cold (53.4%), acute bronchitis (31.3%), acute sinusitis (13.6%), or acute laryngitis (1.6%). Forty-six percent of patients received an antibiotic prescription; most prescriptions were for broad-spectrum agents (69.9% [95% CI, 69.6% to 70.2%]). Patients were more likely to receive prescriptions from mid- and late-career physicians than early-career physicians (rate difference, 5.1 percentage points [CI, 3.9 to 6.4 percentage points] and 4.6 percentage points [CI, 3.3 to 5.8 percentage points], respectively), from physicians trained outside of Canada or the United States (3.6 percentage points [CI, 2.5 to 4.6 percentage points]), and from physicians who saw 25 to 44 patients per day or 45 or more patients per day than those who saw fewer than 25 patients per day (3.1 percentage points [CI, 2.1 to 4.0 percentage points] and 4.1 percentage points [CI, 2.7 to 5.5 percentage points], respectively).
Physician rationale for prescribing was unknown.
In this low-risk elderly cohort, 46% of patients with a nonbacterial AURI were prescribed antibiotics. Patients were more likely to receive prescriptions from mid- or late-career physicians with high patient volumes and from physicians who were trained outside of Canada or the United States.
Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care, Academic Medical Organization of Southwestern Ontario, Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry, Western University, and Lawson Health Research Institute.
Silverman M, Povitz M, Sontrop JM, et al. Antibiotic Prescribing for Nonbacterial Acute Upper Respiratory Infections in Elderly Persons. Ann Intern Med. 2017;166:765–774. [Epub ahead of print 9 May 2017]. doi: https://doi.org/10.7326/M16-1131
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2017;166(11):765-774.
Published at www.annals.org on 9 May 2017
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