Antibiotic report reduces prescribing rates

Dundee study finds fall in drug prescribing after receiving personalised report

29 September, 2016 / infocus

A study led by Dundee Dental School researchers has found that dentists prescribe fewer antibiotics after receiving a personalised report on their past prescribing habits.

The 12-month randomised controlled trial in UK general dental practices featured 795 Scottish practices and showed a 5.7 per cent reduction in dentists’ antibiotic prescribing rate after receiving the intervention. The results of the study, which was led by Professor Jan Clarkson, co-director of Dental Health Services Research Unit at the University of Dundee, Professor Craig Ramsay at the University of Aberdeen and Dr Linda Young at NHS Education for Scotland (NES) were recently published in the PLOS Medicine journal.

Professor Clarkson said: “Dentists in the UK prescribe about 10 per cent of the antibiotics dispensed in community pharmacies.

“Our study has shown that providing individualised graphical feedback from routinely collected data can reduce the amount of antibiotic prescriptions.

“This is a relatively straightforward, low-cost public health and patient safety intervention that could potentially help the entire healthcare profession address the increasing challenge of antimicrobial resistance.”

Dr David Felix, postgraduate dental dean at NHS Education for Scotland, said: “NHS Education for Scotland is delighted to demonstrate that research can be successfully embedded into service delivery and provide solutions to help address the problem of antimicrobial resistance.

“Providing evidence of how to reduce antibiotic prescribing nationally is an important step forward in tackling this major problem.”

The study also showed that dentists who received a written behaviour change message demonstrated an even greater reduction in antibiotic prescribing than those who did not receive the message.

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