Boost communication with patients to cut antibiotic scrips

Improved patient communication is needed to cut antibiotic prescribing in primary care, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has said.

GPs should explain the need for prudent antibiotic use
GPs should explain the need for prudent antibiotic use

The centre has produced a toolkit for primary care prescribers ahead of European Antibiotic Awareness Day on 18 November.

Primary care accounts for about 90% of all antibiotic prescriptions, mainly for respiratory tract infections, the ECDC said.

‘In many cases of respiratory tract infection, antibiotics are not necessary and that the patient's immune system is competent enough to fight simple infections.'

The ECDC has produced a set of key messages for primary care prescribers stressing the importance of explaining the need for prudent antibiotic use.

In a statement the ECDC commented: ‘Studies show that patient satisfaction in primary care settings depends more on effective communication than on receiving an antibiotic prescription and that prescribing an antibiotic for an upper respiratory tract infection does not decrease the rate of subsequent return visits.'

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