Antibiotic stewardship in skin infections: a cross-sectional analysis of early-career GP’s management of impetigo

Heal, Clare, Gorges, Hilary, van Driel, Mieke L., Tapley, Amanda, Davis, Josh, Davey, Andrew, Holliday, L., Ball, Jean, Najib, Nashwa, Spike, Neil, FitzGerald, Kristen, and Magin, Parker (2019) Antibiotic stewardship in skin infections: a cross-sectional analysis of early-career GP’s management of impetigo. BMJ Open, 9. e031527.

PDF (Published version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (471kB) | Preview
View at Publisher Website:


ABSTRACT Objective To establish the prevalence and associations of systemic antibiotic prescription for impetigo by earlycareer general practitioners (GPs) (GP registrars in their first 18 months in general practice).

DESIGN A cross-sectional analysis of data from the Registrar Clinical Encounters in Training (ReCEnT) study. Setting ReCEnT is an ongoing multisite cohort study of Australian registrars’ in-consultation clinical practice across five Australian states. Participants Registrars participating in ReCEnT from 2010 to 2017. Outcome measures Management of impetigo with systemic antibiotics.

RESULTS 1741 registrars (response rate 96%) provided data from 384 731 problems identified in 246 434 consultations. Impetigo, on first presentation or followup, was managed in 930 (0.38%, 95% CI 0.35 to 0.40) consultations and comprised 0.24% (95% CI 0.23 to 0.26) of problems. 683 patients presented with a new diagnosis of impetigo of which 38/683 (5.6%) were not prescribed antibiotics; 239/683 (35.0%) were prescribed solely topical antibiotics; 306/683 (44.8%) solely systemic antibiotics and 100/683 (14.6%) both systemic and topical antibiotics. The most common systemic antibiotic prescribed was cephalexin (53.5%). Variables independently associated with prescription of systemic antibiotics were an inner regional (compared with major city) location (OR 1.82, 95% CI 1.06 to 3.13; p=0.028), seeking in-consultation information or advice (OR 2.17, 95% CI 1.47 to 3.23; p<0.001) and ordering pathology (OR 2.13, 95% CI 1.37 to 3.33; p=0.01).

CONCLUSIONS Australian early-career GPs prescribe systemic antibiotics (the majority broad-spectrum) for a high proportion of initial impetigo presentations. Impetigo guidelines should clearly specify criteria for systemic antibiotic prescription and individual antibiotic choice. The role of non-antibiotic management and topical antiseptics needs to be explored further.

Item ID: 60834
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2044-6055
Copyright Information: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2019. This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license.
Funders: Australian Department of Health (DoH)
Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2019 05:42
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420304 General practice @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920412 Preventive Medicine @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 737
Last 12 Months: 145
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page