Antibiotic prescription pattern for viral respiratory illness in emergency room and ambulatory care settings

M. Nadeem Ahmed, Maria M. Muyot, Shahana Begum, Patti Smith, Charletta Little, Fernando J. Windemuller

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Objective: To evaluate the current practice pattern of antibiotic prescription rate in viral respiratory tract infection diagnosed children among different specialty health care providers. Methods: The study was a retrospective case review study where a random sample of 1200 child care visits coded as viral respiratory infections in primary care provider's office, convenient care clinic, or emergency room in 2006 were analyzed. Results: Overall, the antibiotic prescription rate was 30%. The prescription rate was 3.7 times (95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.90-7.31) higher for bronchitis patients and 2.5 times (95% CI = 1.46-4.30) higher for viral pharyngitis patients than for common cold patients. Antibiotics were written more by emergency physicians (odds ratio [OR] = 11.04; 95% CI = 5.78-21.10) and family practitioners (OR = 5.22; 95% CI = 2.99-9.10) than by pediatricians. Conclusion: Although not recommended, children seen in the emergency room and family practitioner's office are more likely to receive antibiotic prescriptions than those seen in the pediatrician's office.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)542-547
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Pediatrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2010


  • Antibiotics
  • Bronchitis
  • Common cold
  • Convenient care
  • Emergency room
  • Family physician
  • Pediatrician
  • Pharyngitis
  • Primary care physician
  • Respiratory tract infection
  • Upper respiratory infections

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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