Factors Related to the Prescription of Antibiotics for Young Children with Viral Pharyngitis by General Practitioners and Paediatricians in Southeastern France

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Abstract

 This study evaluates the antibiotic-prescribing practices of physicians as well as other related issues in the context of viral pharyngitis. In a telephone interview, 535 physicians practising in southeastern France were submitted a clinical case description of an episode of acute pharyngitis in a 2-year-old child. Questions concerned antibiotic treatment and physicians' reasons for their treatment decision. The viral origin of the pharyngitis was more likely to be suspected by paediatricians than by general practitioners (92% vs. 78%, P<0.01); 57% of allopaths (compared with 26% of homeopaths/acupuncturists and 14% of paediatricians, P<0.001) declared they would prescribe an antibiotic in this situation (amoxicillin only in 42% of cases). This difference between allopaths and other physicians was still significant after controlling for knowledge regarding antibiotic therapy. In order to limit the risk of emerging resistant bacteria, it is urgent that training be upgraded for physicians, especially for allopaths.