Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Decision making, evidence, audit, and education: case study of antibiotic prescribing in general practice

Lookup NU author(s): David Ashley Price


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


Objectives To describe a group general practice's implementation of a decision to prescribe 3 day courses of 200 mg trimethoprim twice daily for urinary tract infections in women and to compare 3 day courses with 5 and 7 day courses. Design Record review, audit of trimethoprim prescribing for urinary tract infections, and critical appraisal of evidence originally presented in support of 3 day course. Setting Group general practice in Newcastle upon Tyne. Data sources The records of all female patients aged 12 years and older who were prescribed trimethoprim for uncomplicated urinary tract infections during a 12 month period were reviewed. 271 valid records were identified. Data extraction Prescribing rates for different courses of trimethoprim, rates of patients returning for second consultations, rates of urine cultures, results of cultures, results of critical appraisal of evidence. Results 114 of 271 (42%) prescriptions written at the first visit were for 3 day courses. 16 of 114 (14%) patients who had had a 3 day course of treatment returned for a second consultation compared with 6/83 (7.2%) of those who had had a 5 day course and 8/74 (11%) who had had a 7 day course. The difference between 3 day and 5 day courses in rates of returning for second consultations was 6.8% (95% CI -1.7% to 12.6%) and between 3 day and 7 day courses was 3.2% (-3.6% to 10.0%). Appraisal of the original evidence on which the practice based its recommendations showed that it was flawed. Additional evidence was found in the Cochrane Library. Conclusions Our original decision, made by consensus at a meeting of the practice's partners, had not led to a consistent change in practice. We did not find a significant increase in treatment failures among patients treated with the 3 day regimen.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lipman T, Price D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Medical Journal

Year: 2000

Volume: 320

Issue: 7242

Pages: 1114-1118

ISSN (print): 0959-535X

ISSN (electronic): 1756-1833

Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group Ltd


DOI: 10.1136/bmj.320.7242.1114

PubMed id: 27356


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric