Article Text

Download PDFPDF
OP 009
  1. Florentia Kaguelidou1,7,
  2. Sandra de Bie1,2,
  3. Katia Verhamme1,
  4. Maria de Ridder1,
  5. Gino Picelli2,
  6. Sabine Strauś1,2,
  7. Carlo Giaquinto4,
  8. Bruno Stricker1,6,
  9. Julia Bielicki5,
  10. Mike Sharland5,
  11. Miriam Sturkenboom1,6
  12. on behalf of the ARPEC study
  1. 1Department of Medical Informatics, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  2. 2Medicines Evaluations Board, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  3. 3International Pharmaco-epidemiology and Pharmaco-economics Research Center, Desio, Italy
  4. 4Società Italiana di MedicinaGenerale, Florence, Italy
  5. 5Paediatric Infectious Diseases Research Group, St George's University London, London, UK
  6. 6Department of Epidemiology, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
  7. 7Department of Pediatric Pharmacology and Pharmacogenetics, Hôpital Robert Debré, APHP; Université Paris VII Diderot - Pres Sorbonne Paris Cité; INSERM CIC1426, Paris, France


Background Suboptimal use of antibiotics may lead to antimicrobial resistance. The aim of this study was to develop and assess two new quality indicators (QIs) of optimal community-based prescribing applied to childhood community antibiotic (AB) prescribing in three European countries.

Methods A cohort study was conducted using electronic primary care medical records of 2,195,312 children up to 14 (Italy, Pedianet database, 2001–2010) or 18 years of age (UK, THIN database, 1995–2010; the Netherlands, IPCI database, 1996–2010) contributing for a total of 12,079,620 person-years (PYs). Prevalence rates of antibiotic prescribing were defined as the number of children with at least one antibiotic prescription per year and were expressed as the number of users per 100 PYs (%). Quality of prescribing was determined using four QIs: the drug utilisation 90% method, the ratio between users of broad and narrow spectrum penicillins, cephalosporins and macrolides (B/N ratio) and two new QMs: (i) the overall proportion of amoxicillin users (amoxicillin index, AI); (ii) the ratio between users of amoxicillin and those of broad spectrum antibiotics (the A/B ratio).

Results The overall annual prevalence of antibiotic prescriptions was 18% in the Netherlands, 36.2% in the UK and 52% in Italy. Prevalence was highest in the youngest children. Almost half of all prescriptions included amoxicillin with or without clavulanic acid. Cephalosporins were frequently prescribed in Italy. The AI provided trends for the utilization of a relatively narrow spectrum option targeting acute respiratory infections, and was highest in the Netherlands and in the UK (50–60%) and lower in Italy (30%), with a slight decrease over time in the UK and Italy. The overall B/N ratio varied between countries from 0.3 to 74.7, whereas the overall A/B ratio varied less from 0.5 in Italy to 6 in the UK, indicating a substantial proportion of narrower-spectrum prescribing in the UK.

Conclusions The prevalence of antibiotic prescribing varied highly with age and country. A combination of total antibiotic prevalence and quality of prescribing based on amoxicillin use provide a clear picture of community childhood antibiotic prescribing. These measures could be used to evaluate the impact of programs aiming at reduction of AB use and appropriate antibiotic prescribing.

  • ESDP

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.