Delayed Prescription for Respiratory Infections Produces Similar Results and Satisfaction as Immediate Treatment
Am Fam Physician. 2016 May 1;93(9):789-790.
In patients with respiratory tract infections (bronchitis, sinusitis, pharyngitis), is a delayed prescription strategy as effective as immediate treatment and as accepted by patients?
In almost 400 Spanish primary care patients with mild to moderate symptoms of respiratory infection of less than one week's duration, both a “take-and-hold” prescription and a “come back and pick up, if necessary” prescription produced a similar clinical response—and similar patient satisfaction score—as immediate antibiotic treatment, while decreasing overall antibiotic use. Other studies of this patient population have shown that patients prefer the security of a prescription, delayed or not, over withholding antibiotic treatment. The effect of legitimizing an illness by awarding a prescription should not be underestimated. (Level of Evidence = 1b)
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