Pharyngitis in Children - Clinicians’ Management Approach

Study Description and Methods

In a survey to AAFP members, we determined factors associated with appropriate management of children with pharyngitis. We characterized office laboratory methods used by clinicians to diagnose pharyngitis caused by group A streptococcus (GAS), including rapid antigen detection test (RADT) and throat cultures, and also assessed clinicians’ treatment of pharyngitis.

Specific Aims and Objectives

Our specific aims were:

  1. Evaluate current diagnostic methods and treatment approaches for children with pharyngitis by primary care practitioners (pediatricians and family practitioners).
  2. Identify factors associated with the use of appropriate laboratory methods by primary care practitioners.
  3. Assess the treatment regimen including antimicrobial choices, length, and goals of therapy.
  4. Determine the impact of full implementation of Clinical Laboratory Improvement Act (CLIA) on the performance of these tests in office settings.

Timeline

This project was conducted from February 15, 2004, to December 31, 2004.

Status

This project has been completed. See below for Key Findings and Publications.

Contact Information

For additional information about this study, please contact:

AAFP National Research Network
1-800-274-2237 x3180
nrn@aafp.org

Key Findings and Publications

There is much room for improvement in the management of acute pharyngitis in children and adolescents. Most physicians use appropriate management strategies; however, a substantial number uses inappropriate ones, particularly for children with likely viral pharyngitis. Efforts to help physicians improve practices will need to be multifaceted and should include health policy and educational approaches.

Access the complete manuscript:

Clinician's Management of Children and Adolescents with Acute Pharyngitis(10 page PDF). Park SY, Gerber MA, Tanz RR, et al. Pediatrics. 2006Jun;117(6):1871-8.


This project was internally funded.