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Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health 2005;38(1): 1-8.
Factors Influencing Antibiotics Prescribing of Primary Health Physicians in Acute Upper Respiratory Infections.
Nam Soon Kim, Soong Nang Jang, Sun Mee Jang
1Korea Institute of Health and Social Affairs, Korea.
2The Institute for Aging Studies, Hallym University, Korea. jysr1@hanmail.net
3Health Insurance Review Agency, Korea.
ABSTRACT
OBJECTIVES: To explore the factors influencing antibiotics prescription by primary health physicians for acute upper respiratory infections (URI). METHODS: We performed a survey of 370 primary health physicians randomly sampled in April, 2003. The questionnaire consisted of a prescription on the scenario of acute bronchitis case, along with opinions and reasons for prescribing antibiotics on URI. RESULTS: We found that 54.7% of the physicians prescribed antibiotics on the example case of acute bronchitis which is known as not needing antibiotics. Female physicians and ENT physicians had a greater tendency to prescribe antibiotics. The factors influencing antibiotics prescription on URI were the belief about the effectiveness of antibiotics, preference for their own experiences rather than clinical guidelines, perception of patients' expectations, and perception of competitive environment. The prescription of antibiotics in the example case was affected by how much they usually prescribe antibiotics (OR=2.400, 95% CI=1.470-3.917) and the physicians who thought that antibiotics were helpful for their income prescribed antibiotics more than others (OR=6.773, 95% CI=1.816-25.254). CONCLUSION: These findings demonstrated that the false belief on the effectiveness of antibiotics, patient's expectation of medication and fast relief of symptoms, and perception of competitive environment all affected the physicians' prescription of antibiotics on URI. It may help to find barriers to accommodate scientific evidence and clinical guidelines among physicians and to specify subgroups for education about appropriate prescription behaviors.
Key words: Antibiotic prescription; Primary health physicians; Upper respiratory Tract infections
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