Antibiotic stewardship programmes had a low impact on prescribing for acute respiratory tract infections in children

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    Aim: This mini review summarises the available data on antibiotic stewardship programmes (ASP) for acute respiratory tract infections (ARTI) in paediatric outpatients, particularly the implementation and impact of programmes. Methods: PubMed was searched from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2021 for papers with abstracts that used the terms respiratory tract infection, antibiotic, child and guideline. We then saw how many of these included the individual terms impact, implementation or stewardship. After exclusions, we included 10 papers that were published in English on children treated as outpatients for ARTIs. All of these included data on implementing and assessing the impact of ASPs. Results: The primary care data were mainly from the United States. The ASP programmes did not influence antibiotic prescription rates, but broad-spectrum antibiotics decreased by 43–48%. The emergency department data were mainly from France and the antibiotic prescription rate decreased by 31–35% and the rate for broad-spectrum antibiotics by 63–71%. A nationwide register-based study from France confirmed these results. Conclusion: ASPs had a low impact on overall antibiotic prescription rates and a modest impact on prescribing broad-spectrum antibiotics. The implementation of ASP protocols needs further development, and more research is necessary on barriers to complying with ASPs.

    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages7
    JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2022
    Publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal


    • antibiotic stewardship
    • guidelines
    • impact
    • implementation
    • respiratory tract infection

    Publication forum classification

    • Publication forum level 1

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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