INAPPROPRIATE ANTIBIOTIC PRESCRIPTION FOR TREATMENT OF ACUTE RESPIRATORY TRACT INFECTIONS IN PRIMARY CARE: BARRIERS, MISCONCEPTIONS, AND EVIDENCE BASED RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT
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Antibiotic resistance is a major global threat. Bacterial infections once cured are causing more morbidity and mortality due to organisms developing resistance to commonly prescribed antibiotics. Inappropriate antibiotic prescribing for acute upper respiratory tract infections in primary care is a specific factor leading to antibiotic resistant organisms. Primary care providers prescribe antibiotics inappropriately because of perceived barriers, such as having too little time for appointments and fear of decreased patient satisfaction with care due to no antibiotic prescription. Providers’ misconceptions about the natural course of acute upper respiratory tract infection also leads to inappropriate prescribing. This paper explores barriers and misconceptions and how primary care nurse practitioners can incorporate evidence based guidelines in diagnosing and treating acute upper respiratory tract infection. By addressing provider barriers and misconceptions inappropriate antibiotic prescribing will be decreased.