A study has shown that advanced practitioners are more likely to prescribe inappropriate antibiotics than doctors.
Researchers studied data on 448,990 outpatient visits for common upper respiratory conditions for which antibiotics are not recommended, such as acute bronchitis, bronchiolitis, nonsuppurative otitis media and viral upper respiratory infection.
The team found that acute bronchitis was the most common indication for which antibiotics were prescribed across all settings, and that patients were more likely to receive an antibiotic with increasing age.
When treating adult patients, advanced practitioners, such as nurse prescribers, were 15% more likely to prescribe an antibiotic than doctors, while in paediatric patients, older providers were four times more likely to prescribe an antibiotic than those aged 30 years and under.
Writing in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology (online, 30 January 2018), the authors said that these results should provide useful information to tailor outpatient antibiotic stewardship interventions to specific provider and patient populations