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Antibiotic stewardship programmes: do they work?

We are all concerned with antimicrobial resistance and every hospital will have their antibiotic stewardship programmes. What impact do they have? Korppi M (Acta Paediatrica 2022;111:1500–1506) has completed a mini review of papers focusing on antibiotic stewardship programmes (ASP) for acute respiratory tract infections (ARTI) in paediatric outpatients, particularly the implementation and impact of programmes. He identified 10 papers, published in English on children treated as outpatients for ARTIs. Most of the data came from the primary care data and 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%. ASPs appear to have a low impact on overall antibiotic prescription rates and a modest impact on prescribing broad-spectrum antibiotics. A Task Force set up by the European Academy of Paediatrics has identified over-treatment of respiratory tract infections with antibiotics as one of the four main problems in child healthcare in Europe. We clearly need to address the impact of these programmes and how we can improve impact

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.