Scotland – A recent study shows that dentists have lower chances of prescribing antibiotics to their patients after being given a “report card” on their past prescription rates.
The study, authored by Jan Clarkson and his colleagues from the University of Dundee in Scotland, presented their analysis of data from the United Kingdom National Health Service.
The researchers randomly contacted two thousand five hundred dentists in Scotland who commonly prescribed antibiotics. Part of those dentists were then assigned a record of their prescription rates per month. Some of them also received a message with the national recommendations for antibiotic prescriptions. The rest which did not get such reports were labeled as the study’s control group.
The changes in the number of antibiotics prescribed
The rate of antibiotic prescriptions for every one hundred patients at the start of the research was of 8.5 for the group with the monthly records, and 8.3 for the control group.
After a year had passed, the rates had diminished 5.7 percent in the group that received the records, compared to a mere reduction of 0.4 percent in the control group.
Additionally, the subgroup that had been the recipient of the message with the national recommendations had a six percent decrease compared to the ones who only got their monthly reports.
These findings give the basis for a “relatively straightforward, low-cost public health and patient safety intervention that could potentially help the entire health care profession address the increasing challenge of antimicrobial resistance,” as noted by the researchers.
Previous research indicated that dentists tended to prescribe antibiotics even if they weren’t appropriate, which is one of the contributing factors in antibiotic resistance.
Bacteria is generating immunity against antibiotics
One of the more serious threats to public health across the globe is the development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria. This is caused by the widespread trend of misusing antibiotics, especially in countries with poorer, weaker healthcare systems.
The immune-bacteria creates the need for newer treatments and antibiotic therapies, even as new drug developments are becoming rarer.
Excessive use and prescription of medicines can do —and has done— more harm than good.
A relatively recent study by publisher BioMed Central in online journals has shed light on the fact that an excess of medicines, antibiotics and injections are being prescribed and administered across the globe.
Africa, in particular, is being quite guilty of doing this, which is the primary cause of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
The study in depth
The analysis included forty-three studies made across eleven countries in the African continent.
This gave the researchers data indicators of 141,323 patients that were prescribed antibiotics across almost six hundred primary care facilities.
The data was collected from 1995 to 2015 and led to some troubling finds. Firstly, the researchers found that prescription tended to be worse in private facilities compared to public ones.
Secondly, they found that and on average each patient was prescribed three different treatments, a higher number than the recommended amount of “less than two medicines.”
“This exceeds the recommendations in primary care settings that health-care practitioners may only prescribe antibiotics to one in every three patients they consult with each day. Similarly, they may only prescribe an injection for one in every five patients they consult every day,” according to the researchers.
Sources: Northern California News