Inappropriate prescribing of antibiotics by NPs and MDs continues

October 06, 2005

BOSTON - Oct. 6, 2005 - Both nurse practitioners and physicians are prescribing inappropriate antibiotics to patients with viral upper-respiratory tract infections, a practice that may lead to increased rates of antimicrobial resistance. Researchers also found that highly marketed broad-spectrum antibiotics are being prescribed excessively, by both NPs and MDs, to patients with diagnoses of viral illnesses. It is well accepted that antibiotics have no clinical effect in the treatment of these illness.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, further found that antibiotic prescribing by nurse practitioners to patients with Medicaid insurance was more appropriate than that of physician prescribing for the same category of patients. This may suggest a difference in response, by NPs, to patient demand among this population and/or a keener awareness among NPs of the budget constraints that are affecting state Medicaid programs.

According to the study, increased adherence, especially by nurse practitioners, to well accepted clinical guidelines and involvement in system-based quality assurance programs are needed to decrease this excessive use of antibiotics.
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This study is published in the October issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners . Media wishing to receive a PDF of the article, please contact medicalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net.

Author of the study, Elissa Ladd PhD, FNP/GNP can be reached for questions and interviews at ecladd5125@aol.com or eladd@mghihp.edu. She is a certified family and geriatric nurse practitioner and Assistant Clinical Professor at the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, MA.

About the Journal
Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (JAANP) is a peer-reviewed professional journal that serves as the official publication of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Published since 1989, the JAANP is designed to serve the needs of nurse practitioners and other health care professionals who have a major interest in primary health care. The JAANP publishes timely original, peer-reviewed articles addressing clinical practice, clinical management, health policy, research, education and other issues affecting nurse practitioners and other primary health care providers.

About Blackwell Publishing
Blackwell Publishing is the world's leading society publisher, partnering with more than 600 academic and professional societies. Blackwell publishes over 750 journals annually and, to date has published close to 6,000 text and reference books, across a wide range of academic, medical, and professional subjects.

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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