Shared decision-making between doctors and patients can reduce antibiotic use

July 30, 2012

A training tool that helps physicians involve patients in decision-making can reduce the use of antibiotics for acute respiratory infections, according to a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Antibiotics are prescribed too often for acute respiratory infections, even though many are not bacterial infections and therefore will not respond to antibiotic use. is a health concern and may be contributing to .

Researchers conducted a cluster randomized trial to determine the impact of a shared decision-making training program called DECISION+2 on the . Shared decision-making, in which a health care professional and patient make a decision together based on evidence and patient preferences, has been shown to be effective when benefits of treatment are not clearly evident for all patients.

The study was divided into two groups, one group of 181 patients who consulted 77 physicians in 5 family practice teaching units using DECISION+2 and a control group of 178 patients who consulted 72 physicians in 4 family practice teaching units. DECISION+2 included an online tutorial followed by an interactive workshop.

"After the intervention, patients in the DECISION+2 group were significantly less likely than patients in the control group to report a decision to use antibiotics immediately after consultation," writes Dr. France Légaré, Research Centre of Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Québec and Department of Family Medicine and Emergency Medicine, Universitaire Laval, Québec, with coauthors. "The reduction in decisions to use antibiotics was observed in all intervention teaching units, while an increase was seen in 3 of 4 teaching units in the control group."

The results of this study are similar to those from an earlier pilot study that looked at the feasibility of this larger trial.

"These studies indicate that a combination of live and media education are generally effective in changing physician performance in the context of for ," write the authors. "These findings are important given the debate and widespread skepticism about the effect of medical education on the performance of physicians in the practice setting."

Explore further: Study hints at antibiotic overuse in home-care patients

More information: Study online: www.cmaj.ca/lookup/doi/10.1503/cmaj.120568

Related Stories

Study hints at antibiotic overuse in home-care patients

June 15, 2011
A study of Canadian home-care patients suggests doctors may be overprescribing antibiotics for patients receiving ongoing medical care at home. The study, published in the June issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, ...

Antibiotics often the wrong prescription for pediatric asthma

June 1, 2011
(Medical Xpress) -- At nearly one in six pediatric asthma visits, antibiotics are prescribed as a remedy, despite national guidelines against the practice. Ian Paul, departments of pediatrics and public health sciences, Penn ...

Recommended for you

Sensor-equipped pill raises technological, ethical questions

November 17, 2017
The first drug with a sensor embedded in a pill that alerts doctors when patients have taken their medications was approved by the Food and Drug Administration, raiding issues involving privacy, cost, and whether patients ...

New painkillers reduce overdose risk

November 16, 2017
Scientists on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have developed new opioid pain relievers that reduce pain on par with morphine but do not slow or stop breathing—the cause of opiate overdose.

Separating side effects could hold key for safer opioids

November 16, 2017
Opioid pain relievers can be extremely effective in relieving pain, but can carry a high risk of addiction and ultimately overdose when breathing is suppressed and stops. Scientists have discovered a way to separate these ...

US regulators approve first digital pill to track patients

November 14, 2017
U.S. regulators have approved the first drug with a sensor that alerts doctors when the medication has been taken, offering a new way of monitoring patients but also raising privacy concerns.

Introduction is different, but top medications for opioid addiction equally effective

November 14, 2017
With opioid addiction officially declared a public health emergency in the U.S., medical intervention to treat the illness is increasingly important in responding to the epidemic. Now, a new study concludes that two of the ...

Drugstore pain pills as effective as opioids in ER patients

November 7, 2017
Emergency rooms are where many patients are first introduced to powerful opioid painkillers, but what if doctors offered over-the-counter pills instead? A new study tested that approach on patients with broken bones and sprains ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.