A new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that patients presenting to their primary care provider for respiratory illness were less likely to get an antibiotic if they were seen during the 2009 influenza pandemic, than if they were seen during another influenza season. The likelihood of receiving an antibiotic decreased as the number of patients that the physician had seen with respiratory illness in the previous week increased. This suggests that the epidemiologic and personal context of the physician may affect their likelihood to prescribe an antibiotic. This knowledge could help to inform interventions aimed at decreasing antibiotic overuse for respiratory infection.
The study was co-authored by Courtney Hebert, MD; Jennifer Beaumont, MS; Gene Schwartz, MD; and Ari Robicsek, MD. Dr. Hebert is a physician and postdoctoral fellow in Biomedical Informatics at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.
The full article is available online.