BOSTON - Oct. 6, 2005 - Both nurse practitioners and physicians areprescribing inappropriate antibiotics to patients with viralupper-respiratory tract infections, a practice that may lead toincreased rates of antimicrobial resistance. Researchers also foundthat highly marketed broad-spectrum antibiotics are being prescribedexcessively, by both NPs and MDs, to patients with diagnoses of viralillnesses. It is well accepted that antibiotics have no clinical effectin the treatment of these illness.
The study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of NursePractitioners, further found that antibiotic prescribing by nursepractitioners to patients with Medicaid insurance was more appropriatethan that of physician prescribing for the same category of patients.This may suggest a difference in response, by NPs, to patient demandamong this population and/or a keener awareness among NPs of the budgetconstraints that are affecting state Medicaid programs.
According to the study, increased adherence, especially bynurse practitioners, to well accepted clinical guidelines andinvolvement in system-based quality assurance programs are needed todecrease this excessive use of antibiotics.
This study is published in the October issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.
About the Journal
Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (JAANP) is apeer-reviewed professional journal that serves as the officialpublication of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Publishedsince 1989, the JAANP is designed to serve the needs of nursepractitioners and other health care professionals who have a majorinterest in primary health care. The JAANP publishes timely original,peer-reviewed articles addressing clinical practice, clinicalmanagement, health policy, research, education and other issuesaffecting nurse practitioners and other primary health care providers.
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