Pharma research finds correlation between antibiotic prescriptions, patient satisfaction
15th December 2015 15:49 - Pharmaceutical
According to research by King’s College London, there is a correlation between the amount of prescriptions issued for antibiotics and patient satisfaction scores, with the GPs prescribing less antibiotics receiving lower patient satisfaction scores. These findings suggest that a notable shift in public perception is needed in order to reduce usage and keep the rise in antimicrobial resistance down.
The findings of the research were published in the British Journal of General Practice.
During the research, the researchers from the King’s College London explored records from 7,800 general practices and discovered that a 25 per cent lower rate of prescriptions for antibiotics resulted in a five to six point reduction on the NHS GP Patient Survey.
The researchers said that after taking into account practice and demographic factors, antibiotic prescribing was a notable determinant of patient satisfaction. The researchers also noted that “GPs who are frugal in their antibiotic prescribing may need support to maintain patient satisfaction”.
GP and lead author of the study from the King’s Division of Health and Social Care Research, Mark Ashworth, said of the study findings:
“Although small-scale studies have shown that dissatisfaction about not receiving an antibiotic can be offset if the patient feels that they have been listened to or carefully examined, further research is needed to determine if this will help in the real world of busy GP practices,”
An alternative study by Public Health England discovered that more than half (51 per cent) of patients were wrongly issued a prescription for antibiotics by their GP for coughs and colds – which antibiotics do not help fight – further encouraging antimicrobial resistance.
Vice Chair of the Royal College of GPs, Tim Ballard, said that practices are endeavouring to reduce the amount of antibiotics being inappropriately prescribed, with the aim to prevent diseases becoming resistant to them and further face declining satisfaction scores.
“It truly is a case of being damned if we do and damned if we don’t…our patients need to understand that when diseases become resistant to antibiotics, it means that antibiotics will cease to work and as it stands, we don't have an alternative,” he stressed.
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