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Antibiotic prescribing for acute respiratory infection and subsequent outpatient and hospital utilization in veterans with spinal cord injury and disorder

OBJECTIVE: To assess the association between antibiotic prescribing for acute respiratory infection (ARI) and subsequent health-care utilization in veterans with spinal cord injury and disorder (SCI/D). DESIGN: Retrospective cohort of veterans with SCI/D. SETTING: Veterans Affairs medical facilities that provide outpatient care. PATIENTS: Veterans with SCI/D with a diagnosis of acute bronchitis or upper respiratory infection during an outpatient visit between fiscal year 2006 and 2007 that did not result in same-day hospitalization. INDEPENDENT VARIABLE: Receipt of a new antibiotic prescription occurring within 3 days before or after an ARI visit. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Subsequent outpatient visit or hospitalization within 30 days of the index ARI visit. RESULTS: A total of 1277 patients were identified with ARI; 53.2% were prescribed an antibiotic. An outpatient clinic visit within 30 days of the index ARI visit occurred in 47.0% of patients. Receipt of an antibiotic prescription was not associated with a subsequent outpatient visit. However, in those with certain chronic respiratory conditions (cough, shortness of breath, bronchitis not specified as acute or chronic, and allergic rhinitis), those prescribed antibiotics were less likely to return for an outpatient visit than those not prescribed antibiotics (adjusted relative risk =0.77, 95% confidence interval = 0.61-0.97); no association was observed in those patients without these conditions. A total of 7.9% of patients were hospitalized within 30 days and did not differ by prescribing group. The 30-day mortality rate was 0.6%. CONCLUSIONS: Certain chronic respiratory conditions in veterans with SCI/D may be risk factors for increased health-care utilization and potentially poor outcomes if a patient is not treated with antibiotics for ARI. However, in those without these conditions, those with ARI who were prescribed antibiotics have similar utilization to those not prescribed antibiotics. These data suggest that in the absence of chronic respiratory conditions, antibiotic use for ARI can be curbed in this population that is at high risk for respiratory complications

Keywords : Acute Disease,Aged,Anti-Bacterial Agents,Bronchitis,complications,diagnosis,drug therapy,Female,Health Services,Humans,injuries,Male,Middle Aged,mortality,Practice Patterns,Physicians’,rehabilitation,Respiratory Tract Infections,Retrospective Studies,Risk Factors,Spinal Cord,Spinal Cord Injuries,statistics & numerical data,therapeutic use,Treatment Outcome,United States,Veterans,, Prescribing,Acute,Respiratory,Infection, zydol side effects

Date of Publication : 2010 Feb

Authors : Evans CT;Li K;Burns SP;Smith B;Lee TA;Weaver FM;

Organisation : Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Center for Management of Complex Chronic Care, Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital (151H), Hines, IL, USA. Charlesnika.Evans@va.gov

Journal of Publication : PM R

Pubmed Link : https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20117971

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