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J Korean Acad Fam Med. 2000 Jul;21(7):901-913. Korean. Original Article.
Eo KS , Byeon JJ , Shin HC , Kim CH , Lee JH , Choi YS , Roh YK .
Dr. Eo's Family Clinic, Korea.
Samsung Seoul Hospital, Sungkyunkwan Univ, Korea.
Schoop of Med, Catholic Univ. Taejon St. Mary Hosp, Korea.
Korea Univ. College of Med. Guro Hosp, Korea.
Hallym University College of Med, Korea.

BACKGROUND: Antibiotics are often indiscriminately prescribed for respiratory tract infections. This study was conducted to describe the prescription pattern of family physicians for respiratory tract infections. METHODS: In each clinic of 50 representative family practitioners, about 20 consecutive patients with diagnosis of respiratory tract infection were enrolled into the study. The data were collected by questionnaire to physicians just after patient interview. RESULTS: The number of study subjects was 1020, of which 55.7% was less than 15 year old. Antibiotics were prescribed to 73.9% of total subjects. According to diagnosis, the antibiotic prescription rate was 51.5% in common cold, 86.0% in pharyngitis, 88.6% in bronchitis, 98.9% in sinusitis, and 100% in otitis media. In common cold, the factors which significantly increased the antibiotic prescription were 1)patient age less than 15 year old (OR=1.70, CI=1.06-2.73), 2)more than two visits during the same episode(OR=1.95, CI=1.27-2.99), 3)yellow and thick rhinorrhea(OR=2.22, CI=1.16-4.25), 4)yellow and thick sputum(OR=3.31, CI=1.34-8.19), and 5)throat injection(OR=2.50, CI=1.42-4.39). Among patients to whom antibiotics were prescribed, 48.7% of patients were given the antibiotics by intramuscular injection. The most frequently prescribed antibiotics were penicillin and macroride among per-oral medicine and ribostamycin and lincomycin among intramuscular medicine. The reason for antibiotic prescription were 1)posssibility of bacterial infection(43.4%), 2)prevention of bacterial complication(23.7%), and 3)definite evidence of bacterial infection(22.5%). CONCLUSION: Family practitioners prescribe antibiotics indiscriminately for the respiratory tract infection. The prescription was influence by patient's age, number of clinic-visit, and clinical symptoms and signs.

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