By Joanne Ellul
The eight-page booklet was used in consultations with children with respiratory tract infections and their parents and could be taken away by parents. Online training on the use of the booklet was also provided for the GPs in the study.
Across the 61 general practices in England and Wales in the study, antibiotics were prescribed over 20% less in the consultations with clinicians who used the booklet than those who did not.
The researchers commented: ‘The routine use of this intervention in primary care should now be considered along with other effective interventions such as delayed prescribing.' They emphasised that the reduction in antibiotic prescription, as a result of the threat of increasing resistance to treatment, had important implications for public health.
The booklet and online training could be produced and distributed fairly cheaply, they added. ‘We are currently exploring which aspects of the intervention led to its effectiveness, the impact of its use on consultation length, its effects on the long term consulting rates, and its economic impact,' they said.
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