Association between guidelines and medical practitioners' perception of best management for patients attending with an apparently uncomplicated acute sire throat: a cross-sectional survey in five countries

Gunnarsson, Ronny, Ebell, Mark H., Waechtler, Hannelore, Manchal, Naveen, Reid, Lynne, Malmberg, Stefan, Hawkey, Sean, Hay, Alastair D., Hedin, Katarina, and Sundvall, Par-Daniel (2020) Association between guidelines and medical practitioners' perception of best management for patients attending with an apparently uncomplicated acute sire throat: a cross-sectional survey in five countries. BMJ Open, 10 (9). e037884.

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Abstract

Objective To investigate the relationship between guidelines and the medical practitioners' perception of optimal care for patients attending with an apparently uncomplicated acute sore throat in five countries (Australia, Germany, Sweden, UK and USA).

Design International cross-sectional survey.

Setting Primary healthcare (PHC).

Participants Medical practitioners working in PHC.

Main outcome measures ORs for: (A) perception of throat swabs as important, (B) perception of blood tests (C reactive protein, B-ESR and B-leucocytes) as important and (C) antibiotic prescriptions if no pathogenic bacteria isolated on throat swab.

Results Guidelines differed significantly; those recommending throat swabs (Sweden and USA) were associated with practitioners perceiving them as important. The UK guideline was the only one actively discouraging the use of throat swabs. Hence, compared with the USA (reference), a throat swab showing no pathogenic bacteria increased the probability of antibiotic prescribing in the UK with OR 3.2 (95% CI 1.7 to 6.1) for adults, whereas it reduced the probability in Sweden for adults OR 0.35 (95% CI 0.13 to 0.96) and children 0.19 (95% CI 0.069 to 0.50).

Conclusions The differences between practitioners' perceptions of best management were associated with their guidelines. It remains unclear if guidelines influenced medical practitioners' perception or if guidelines merely reflect the consensus of current practice. A larger effort should be made to reach an international consensus in high-income countries about the best management of patients attending for an uncomplicated acute sore throat.

Item ID: 64711
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2044-6055
Keywords: primary care, protocols & guidelines, paediatric infectious disease & immunisation
Copyright Information: © Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.
Funders: Local Research and Development Council, Sweden (LRDC)
Projects and Grants: LRDC VGFOUSA-772171, LRDC VGFOUSA-804631
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2020 08:13
FoR Codes: 32 BIOMEDICAL AND CLINICAL SCIENCES > 3299 Other biomedical and clinical sciences > 329999 Other biomedical and clinical sciences not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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