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Antibiotic prescribing patterns for acute respiratory infections in a free clinic network: a pooled cross-sectional study


In the United States, overprescribing of antibiotics for viral respiratory infections and antimicrobial resistance continue to be public health concerns. To date, no literature has focused on antibiotic prescribing patterns from free clinics. To address this gap, we used patient-level data from a student-run free clinic network of four primary care clinics to assess factors associated with inappropriate antibiotic prescribing for viral respiratory infections. Treatment plans were deemed inappropriate if any type of antibiotic was prescribed. We used unpaired t tests and chi-square tests to assess for differences in receiving an inappropriate antibiotic prescription by patient-level factors (i.e. age, race/ethnicity, sex, educational attainment, preferred language, insurance status). Of 298 visits, 22.5% did not meet treatment guidelines. No patient-level factors studied were associated with inappropriate antibiotic prescribing. Our findings suggest other factors, beyond those at the patient level, may be drivers of variation in antibiotic prescribing in free clinics.

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We would like to thank the peer reviewers for providing suggestions to strengthen the reporting of this article.

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Correspondence to Oliver T. Nguyen.

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Research reported in this publication was supported by the University of Florida Clinical and Translational Science Institute, which is supported in part by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences under award number UL1TR001427. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the NIH. University of Florida clinical and translational science institute

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing interests.

Ethics approval

The University of Florida’s Institutional Review Board approved the protocol (IRB202002817).

Consent to participate

The protocol was approved with a waiver for participant consent due to the use of retrospective data originally collected for the purposes of treatment and clinical operations.

Consent for publication

To comply with ethics approval, we used a de-identified dataset and our reporting of this manuscript contains no identifiable information on participants.

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Available upon request to the corresponding author.

Author contributions

This work represents the original research of the authors. This work has not been previously published. AD, OTN, EM, AF, TH, and AG conceptualized the study. OTN analyzed the data. All authors interpreted the data. AD, OTN, and EM drafted the manuscript. All authors provided critical revisions to the manuscript. All authors approved the submission.

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Daga, A., Nguyen, O.T., Moothedan, E. et al. Antibiotic prescribing patterns for acute respiratory infections in a free clinic network: a pooled cross-sectional study. Drugs Ther Perspect 38, 51–55 (2022).

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