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

Cancer drugs' high prices not justified by cost of development, study contends

September 12, 2017
(HealthDay)— Excusing the sky-high price tags of many new cancer treatments, pharmaceutical companies often blame high research and development (R&D) costs.

Non-psychotropic cannabinoids show promise for pain relief

September 4, 2017
Some cancers love bone. They thrive in its nutrient-rich environment while gnawing away at the very substrate that sustains them, all the while releasing inflammatory substances that cause pain—pain so severe that opioids ...

Fentanyl drives rise in opioid-linked deaths in U.S.

August 31, 2017
(HealthDay)—Fentanyl, a synthetic narcotic, is a key player in America's continuing epidemic of opioid-related overdose deaths, two new studies report.

Eating triggers endorphin release in the brain

August 28, 2017
Finnish researchers have revealed how eating stimulates brain's endogenous opioid system to signal pleasure and satiety.

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease

August 21, 2017
That statin you've been taking to lower your risk of heart attack or stroke may one day pull double duty, providing protection against a whole host of infectious diseases, including typhoid fever, chlamydia, and malaria.

Data revealed under FOI shows benefits of multiple sclerosis drug currently blocked by regulators

August 17, 2017
A drug that is blocked by the EU regulatory system has now been found to improve the quality of life of people with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study by Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

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.