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Usefulness of C-reactive protein testing in acute cough/respiratory tract infection: an open cluster-randomized clinical trial with C-reactive protein testing in the intervention group.

Andreeva E, Melbye H - BMC Fam Pract (2014)

Bottom Line: Point of care testing for C-reactive protein (CRP) has shown promise as a measure to reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescribing in respiratory tract infections (RTI), but its use in primary care is still controversial.In the intervention group, the antibiotic prescribing rate was 37.6%, which was significantly lower than that in the control group (58.9%) (P=0.006).Referral for chest X-ray was also significantly lower in the intervention group (55.4%) than in the control group (75.6%) (P=0.004).

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Affiliation: Department of Family Medicine, Northern State Medical University, Arkhangelsk, the Russian Federation. klmn.69@mail.ru.

ABSTRACT

Background: Point of care testing for C-reactive protein (CRP) has shown promise as a measure to reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescribing in respiratory tract infections (RTI), but its use in primary care is still controversial. We aimed to evaluate the effect of CRP testing on the prescription of antibiotics, referral for radiography, and the outcome of patients in general practice with acute cough/RTI.

Methods: An open-cluster randomized clinical trial was conducted, with CRP testing performed in the intervention group. Antibiotic prescribing and referral for radiography were the main outcome measures.

Results: A total of 179 patients were included: 101 in the intervention group and 78 in the control group. The two groups were similar in clinical characteristics. In the intervention group, the antibiotic prescribing rate was 37.6%, which was significantly lower than that in the control group (58.9%) (P=0.006). Referral for chest X-ray was also significantly lower in the intervention group (55.4%) than in the control group (75.6%) (P=0.004). The recovery rate, as recorded by the GPs, was 92.9% and 93.6% in the intervention and control groups, respectively.

Conclusion: The study showed that CRP testing in patients with acute cough/RTI may reduce antibiotic prescribing and referral for radiography, probably without compromising recovery.

Trial registration: The trial was registered in the ClinicalTrials.gov Protocol Registration System (identification number: NCT01794819).

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Antibiotic prescribing by confirmed (X-ray) diagnosis in the intervention and control groups. URTI = upper respiratory tract infections, COPD = chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
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Figure 1: Antibiotic prescribing by confirmed (X-ray) diagnosis in the intervention and control groups. URTI = upper respiratory tract infections, COPD = chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Mentions: Antibiotics were prescribed in all cases of suspected pneumonia (Figure 1). The second most frequent reason for prescribing antibiotics was acute bronchitis (64% and 68% in the intervention and control groups, respectively). The most frequently used antibiotic was amoxicillin, often in combination with clavulanic acid, prescribed for 73% and 72% of those given antibiotics in the intervention and control groups, respectively.


Usefulness of C-reactive protein testing in acute cough/respiratory tract infection: an open cluster-randomized clinical trial with C-reactive protein testing in the intervention group.

Andreeva E, Melbye H - BMC Fam Pract (2014)

Antibiotic prescribing by confirmed (X-ray) diagnosis in the intervention and control groups. URTI = upper respiratory tract infections, COPD = chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4016668&req=5

Figure 1: Antibiotic prescribing by confirmed (X-ray) diagnosis in the intervention and control groups. URTI = upper respiratory tract infections, COPD = chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Mentions: Antibiotics were prescribed in all cases of suspected pneumonia (Figure 1). The second most frequent reason for prescribing antibiotics was acute bronchitis (64% and 68% in the intervention and control groups, respectively). The most frequently used antibiotic was amoxicillin, often in combination with clavulanic acid, prescribed for 73% and 72% of those given antibiotics in the intervention and control groups, respectively.

Bottom Line: Point of care testing for C-reactive protein (CRP) has shown promise as a measure to reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescribing in respiratory tract infections (RTI), but its use in primary care is still controversial.In the intervention group, the antibiotic prescribing rate was 37.6%, which was significantly lower than that in the control group (58.9%) (P=0.006).Referral for chest X-ray was also significantly lower in the intervention group (55.4%) than in the control group (75.6%) (P=0.004).

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Family Medicine, Northern State Medical University, Arkhangelsk, the Russian Federation. klmn.69@mail.ru.

ABSTRACT

Background: Point of care testing for C-reactive protein (CRP) has shown promise as a measure to reduce unnecessary antibiotic prescribing in respiratory tract infections (RTI), but its use in primary care is still controversial. We aimed to evaluate the effect of CRP testing on the prescription of antibiotics, referral for radiography, and the outcome of patients in general practice with acute cough/RTI.

Methods: An open-cluster randomized clinical trial was conducted, with CRP testing performed in the intervention group. Antibiotic prescribing and referral for radiography were the main outcome measures.

Results: A total of 179 patients were included: 101 in the intervention group and 78 in the control group. The two groups were similar in clinical characteristics. In the intervention group, the antibiotic prescribing rate was 37.6%, which was significantly lower than that in the control group (58.9%) (P=0.006). Referral for chest X-ray was also significantly lower in the intervention group (55.4%) than in the control group (75.6%) (P=0.004). The recovery rate, as recorded by the GPs, was 92.9% and 93.6% in the intervention and control groups, respectively.

Conclusion: The study showed that CRP testing in patients with acute cough/RTI may reduce antibiotic prescribing and referral for radiography, probably without compromising recovery.

Trial registration: The trial was registered in the ClinicalTrials.gov Protocol Registration System (identification number: NCT01794819).

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus