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Medication use in European primary care patients with lower respiratory tract infection: an observational study

Medication use in European primary care patients with lower respiratory tract infection: an observational study
Medication use in European primary care patients with lower respiratory tract infection: an observational study
Background

It is largely unknown what medication is used by patients with lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI).

Aim

To describe the use of self-medication and prescribed medication in adults presenting with LRTI in different European countries, and to relate self-medication to patient characteristics.

Design and setting

An observational study in 16 primary care networks in 12 European countries.

Method

A total of 2530 adult patients presenting with LRTI in 12 European countries filled in a diary on any medication used before and after a primary care consultation. Patient characteristics related to self-medication were determined by univariable and multivariable logistic regression analysis.

Results

The frequency and types of medication used differed greatly between European countries. Overall, 55.4% self-medicated before consultation, and 21.5% after consultation, most frequently with paracetamol, antitussives, and mucolytics. Females, non-smokers, and patients with more severe symptoms used more self-medication. Patients who were not prescribed medication during the consultation self-medicated more often afterwards. Self-medication with antibiotics was relatively rare.

Conclusion

A considerable amount of medication, often with no proven efficacy, was used by adults presenting with LRTI in primary care. There were large differences between European countries. These findings should help develop patient information resources, international guidelines, and international legislation concerning the availability of over-the-counter medication, and can also support interventions against unwarranted variations in care. In addition, further research on the effects of symptomatic medication is needed.
antibiotics, cough, drug therapy, primary health care, respiratory tract infections, self medication
0960-1643
e81-e91
Hamoen, Marleen
2eb56f6b-5b74-4551-a13c-eb9b6e084f25
Broekhuizen, Berna D.L.
58780c58-a133-4b22-ab3d-b30261859a62
Little, Paul
1bf2d1f7-200c-47a5-ab16-fe5a8756a777
Melbye, Hasse
be60ca95-b236-48e5-8eb9-c9a153d54a8f
Coenen, Samuel
3d0dc4e0-e5ba-4d66-ba92-15900ccc551e
Goossens, Herman
31f8e1ae-7da0-473c-bd49-f911c2187451
Butler, Chris C.
cedab343-9e0c-420f-ba80-f2f824969687
Francis, Nick A.
4fef3cf0-2dda-4294-bde7-e29eb33bbfdc
Verheij, Theo J.M.
817a26b8-7db9-4e79-b00e-c0457f19f236
Hamoen, Marleen
2eb56f6b-5b74-4551-a13c-eb9b6e084f25
Broekhuizen, Berna D.L.
58780c58-a133-4b22-ab3d-b30261859a62
Little, Paul
1bf2d1f7-200c-47a5-ab16-fe5a8756a777
Melbye, Hasse
be60ca95-b236-48e5-8eb9-c9a153d54a8f
Coenen, Samuel
3d0dc4e0-e5ba-4d66-ba92-15900ccc551e
Goossens, Herman
31f8e1ae-7da0-473c-bd49-f911c2187451
Butler, Chris C.
cedab343-9e0c-420f-ba80-f2f824969687
Francis, Nick A.
4fef3cf0-2dda-4294-bde7-e29eb33bbfdc
Verheij, Theo J.M.
817a26b8-7db9-4e79-b00e-c0457f19f236

Hamoen, Marleen, Broekhuizen, Berna D.L., Little, Paul, Melbye, Hasse, Coenen, Samuel, Goossens, Herman, Butler, Chris C., Francis, Nick A. and Verheij, Theo J.M. (2014) Medication use in European primary care patients with lower respiratory tract infection: an observational study. British Journal of General Practice, 64 (619), e81-e91. (doi:10.3399/bjgp14X677130). (PMID:24567621)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background

It is largely unknown what medication is used by patients with lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI).

Aim

To describe the use of self-medication and prescribed medication in adults presenting with LRTI in different European countries, and to relate self-medication to patient characteristics.

Design and setting

An observational study in 16 primary care networks in 12 European countries.

Method

A total of 2530 adult patients presenting with LRTI in 12 European countries filled in a diary on any medication used before and after a primary care consultation. Patient characteristics related to self-medication were determined by univariable and multivariable logistic regression analysis.

Results

The frequency and types of medication used differed greatly between European countries. Overall, 55.4% self-medicated before consultation, and 21.5% after consultation, most frequently with paracetamol, antitussives, and mucolytics. Females, non-smokers, and patients with more severe symptoms used more self-medication. Patients who were not prescribed medication during the consultation self-medicated more often afterwards. Self-medication with antibiotics was relatively rare.

Conclusion

A considerable amount of medication, often with no proven efficacy, was used by adults presenting with LRTI in primary care. There were large differences between European countries. These findings should help develop patient information resources, international guidelines, and international legislation concerning the availability of over-the-counter medication, and can also support interventions against unwarranted variations in care. In addition, further research on the effects of symptomatic medication is needed.

Full text not available from this repository.

More information

Published date: 1 February 2014
Keywords: antibiotics, cough, drug therapy, primary health care, respiratory tract infections, self medication
Organisations: Primary Care & Population Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 363377
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/363377
ISSN: 0960-1643
PURE UUID: f715b663-033c-43c1-8052-758bc2c489bc

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 24 Mar 2014 16:55
Last modified: 16 Jul 2019 21:09

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