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Veterans’ Affairs (VA) healthcare providers perceive that Veterans expect and base visit satisfaction on receiving antibiotics for upper respiratory tract infections (URIs). No studies have tested this hypothesis. We sought to determine whether receiving and/or expecting antibiotics were associated with Veteran satisfaction with URI visits.
This cross-sectional study included Veterans evaluated for URI January 2018–December 2019 in an 18-clinic ambulatory VA primary-care system. We evaluated Veteran satisfaction via the Patient Satisfaction Questionnaire Short Form (RAND Corporation), an 18-item 5-point Likert scale survey. Additional items assessed Veteran antibiotic expectations. Antibiotic receipt was determined via medical record review. We used multivariable regression to evaluate whether antibiotic receipt and/or Veteran antibiotic expectations were associated with satisfaction. Subgroup analyses focused on Veterans who accurately remembered antibiotic prescribing during their URI visit.
Of 1,329 eligible Veterans, 432 (33%) participated. Antibiotic receipt was not associated with differences in mean total satisfaction (adjusted score difference, 0.6 points; 95% confidence interval [CI], −2.1 to 3.3). However, mean total satisfaction was lower for Veterans expecting an antibiotic (adjusted score difference −4.4 points; 95% CI −7.2 to −1.6). Among Veterans who accurately remembered the visit and did not receive an antibiotic, those who expected an antibiotic had lower mean satisfaction scores than those who did not (unadjusted score difference, −16.6 points; 95% CI, −24.6 to −8.6).
Veteran expectations for antibiotics, not antibiotic receipt, are associated with changes in satisfaction with outpatient URI visits. Future research should further explore patient expectations and development of patient-centered and provider-focused interventions to change patient antibiotic expectations.
Antibiotics are widely used in neonatal intensive care units (NICUs). We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of antibiotic use across US NICUs to evaluate overall, broad-spectrum, and combination antibiotic use. Patterns of antibiotic use varied by medical versus surgical service line, hospital, and geographic location.
To characterize the prevalence of and seasonal and regional variation in inpatient antibiotic use among hospitalized US children in 2017–2018.
We conducted a cross-sectional examination of hospitalized children. The assessments were conducted on a single day in spring (May 3, 2017), summer (August 2, 2017), fall (October 25, 2017), and winter (January 31, 2018). The main outcome of interest was receipt of an antibiotic on the study day.
The study included 51 freestanding US children’s hospitals that participate in the Pediatric Health Information System (PHIS).
This study included all patients <18 years old who were admitted to a participating PHIS hospital, excluding patients who were admitted solely for research purposes.
Of 52,769 total hospitalized children, 19,174 (36.3%) received antibiotics on the study day and 6,575 of these (12.5%) received broad-spectrum antibiotics. The overall prevalence of antibiotic use varied across hospitals from 22.3% to 51.9%. Antibiotic use prevalence was 29.2% among medical patients and 47.7% among surgical patients. Although there was no significant seasonal variation in antibiotic use prevalence, regional prevalence varied, ranging from 32.7% in the Midwest to 40.2% in the West (P < .001). Among units, pediatric intensive care unit patients had the highest prevalence of both overall and broad-spectrum antibiotic use at 58.3% and 26.6%, respectively (P < .001).
On any given day in a national network of children’s hospitals, more than one-third of hospitalized children received an antibiotic, and 1 in 8 received a broad-spectrum antibiotic. Variation across hospitals, setting and regions identifies potential opportunities for enhanced antibiotic stewardship activities.
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