Title

Is Australia ready to implement delayed prescribing in primary care? A review of the evidence

Date of this Version

9-2016

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Citation only

Sargent, L., McCullough, A., del Mar, C., & Lowe, J. (2016). Is Australia ready to implement delayed prescribing in primary care? A review of the evidence. Australian Family Physician, 45(9), 688-690.

Access the journal

© The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners 2016

ISSN

0300-8495

Abstract

Background

Antibiotic resistance is a major global public health threat. Most antibiotic prescriptions for human consumption in primary care are for acute respiratory tract infections (ARTIs). Australia continues to be a high prescriber of antibiotics, compared with other Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. Implementation of evidence-based strategies to reduce antibiotic use in primary care is needed. Delayed prescribing is one evidence-based strategy that is underused.

Objective/s

This article describes delayed prescribing, the evidence for its effectiveness, how it works, how it could be implemented in Australia and what individual general practitioners (GPs) can do.

Discussion

Delayed prescribing, also called ‘wait-and-see prescribing’, is the process whereby a GP makes an antibiotic prescription available during the consultation, but asks the patient to delay its use to see if symptoms will resolve first. Evidence indicates that delayed prescribing is an effective strategy for reducing antibiotic use but requires implementation. Individual GPs can begin to use this strategy as a method of treating patients with ARTIs.

 

This document has been peer reviewed.