PURPOSE: Antibiotic prescription is a central public health issue. Overall, 90% of antibiotic prescriptions are delivered to patients in ambulatory care, and a substantial proportion of these prescriptions could be avoided. General Practitioner (GP) trainers are similar to other GPs in terms of sociodemographic and medical activities, but they may have different prescription patterns. Our aim was to compare the antibiotic prescribing rates between GP trainers and non-trainers.
METHODS: This observational cross-sectional study was conducted on administrative data claims from the French National Health Insurance. The antibiotic prescribing rate was calculated. The main independent variable was the training status of the GPs. Prescribing rates were adjusted for the various GPs' characteristics (gender, age, location of the practice, number of visits per GP and the case-mix) in a multiple linear regression analysis.
RESULTS: Between June 2014 and July 2015 the prescribing patterns of 860 GPs were analysed, among which 102 were GP trainers (12%). Over the year 363,580 patients were prescribed an antibiotic out of 3,499,248 visits for 1,299,308 patients seen over the year thus representing around 27.5% of patients. In the multivariate analyses, being a trainer resulted in a significant difference of 6.62 percentage points (IC 95%: [-8.55; -4.69]; p<0.001) in antibiotic prescriptions comparing to being a non-trainer, corresponding to a relative reduction of 23.4%.
CONCLUSION: These findings highlight the role of GP trainers in antibiotic prescriptions. By prescribing fewer antibiotics and influencing the next generations of GPs, the human and economic burden of antibiotics could be reduced.