Although the vast majority of respiratory tract symptoms are self-limiting and antibiotics are seldom needed, general practitioners (GPs) frequently prescribe antibiotics for these symptoms. Therefore this study aimed to explore differences in views on respiratory tract symptoms and antibiotics and to explore the role of these views on the management of respiratory tract symptoms of both patients and GPs. The results of the study are based on data derived from the Second Dutch National Survey of General Practice of NIVEL (DNSGP-2). Patients' views differ from those of GPs. To avoid misperceptions and to enhance shared decision-making, GPs should better explore patients' expectations and views during consultation. Both patients and GPs reported signs of inflammation such as green sputum and white spots in the throat to be important reasons for prescribing antibiotics. Public campaigns and postgraduate training will probably be able to provide a more appropriate opinion on the prognostic value of these inflammation signs. Patients who reported having been carefully examined by the GP were more often satisfied with the visit, while being prescribed antibiotics was not associated with patients' satisfaction. GPs who reported a greater inclination to prescribe new drugs prescribed relatively more second-choice antibiotics for respiratory tract episodes. The number of visits by pharmaceutical company representatives was strongly associated with this inclination. Therefore information on pharmacotherapy should be obtained by participating in pharmacotherapy peer review groups or postgraduate training programs.
|Translated title of the contribution||Green sputum, white spots and antibiotics: Role of patients' and doctors' views and the management of respiratory tract infections|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Huisarts en Wetenschap|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Apr 2007|