Antibiotic prescribing and patient satisfaction in primary care in England: Cross-sectional analysis of national patient survey data and prescribing data

Mark Ashworth*, Patrick White, Hannah Jongsma, Peter Schofield, David Armstrong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background Concerns about adverse effects on patient satisfaction may be an important obstacle to attempts to curtail antibiotic prescribing. Aim To determine the relationship between antibiotic prescribing in general practice and reported patient satisfaction. Design and setting Retrospective cross-sectional study of general practices in England. Method Data were obtained from the General Practice Patient Survey (GPPS) in 2012 (2.7 million questionnaires in England; 982 999 responses; response rate 36%); the national Quality and Outcomes Framework dataset for England, 2011-2012 (8164 general practices); and general practice and demographic characteristics. Standardised measures of antibiotic prescribing volumes were obtained for each practice in England during 2012-2013, together with 12 other nationally available prescribing variables. The role of antibiotic prescribing volume was identified as a determinant of GPPS scores and adjusted for demographic and practice factors using multiple linear regression. Results The final dataset consisted of 7800 (95.5%) practices. A total of 33.7 million antibiotic prescriptions were issued to a registered population of 53.8 million patients. Antibiotic prescribing volume was a significant positive predictor of all 'doctor satisfaction' and 'practice satisfaction' scores in the GPPS, and was the strongest predictor of overall satisfaction out of 13 prescribing variables. A theoretical 25% reduction in antibiotic prescribing volume would be associated with 0.5-1.0% lower patient satisfaction scores, a drop of 3-6 centile points in national satisfaction ranking. Conclusion Patients were less satisfied in practices with frugal antibiotic prescribing. A cautious approach to antibiotic prescribing may require a trade-off in terms of patient satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e40-e46
JournalBritish Journal of General Practice
Volume66
Issue number642
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

Keywords

  • Antibiotic prescribing
  • Antibiotics
  • Patient experience
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Primary health care

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