Appropriateness of antibiotic prescribing for upper respiratory tract infections in general practice: Comparison between Denmark and Iceland

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Objective: To compare the appropriateness of antibiotic prescribing for upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) in two countries with different prevalence of antimicrobial resistance: Denmark and Iceland.

Design: A cross-sectional study. Settings and subjects. General practitioners (GPs) in Denmark (n = 78) and Iceland (n = 21) registered all patients with URTI according to the Audit Project Odense (APO) method during a three-week period in the winter months of 2008 and 2009.

Main outcome measures: Appropriateness of antibiotic prescribing in patients with URTI in Denmark and Iceland.

Results: A total of 1428 patients were registered (Denmark: n = 1208; Iceland: n = 220). A majority of patients in both countries were prescribed antibiotics, and only a minority of the prescriptions could be classified as appropriate prescribing. In general, Icelandic GPs more often prescribed antibiotics (Iceland = 75.8% vs. Denmark = 59.3%), but Danish GPs had a higher percentage of inappropriate antibiotic prescribing for sinusitis, and Icelandic GPs for pharyngotonsillitis. No differences were found for acute otitis media (AOM). The different antibiotic prescribing patterns between Denmark and Iceland could not fully be explained by different symptoms and signs among patients.

Conclusion: Icelandic GPs have a higher antibiotic prescribing rate compared with Danish GPs, but the percentage of inappropriate antibiotic prescribing is highest in Denmark for sinusitis, and in Iceland for pharyngotonsillitis.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Primary Health Care
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)269-274
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2015

ID: 144959614