Increasing antibiotic resistance represents a major public health threat that jeopardises the future treatment of bacterial infections. This study aims to describe the adherence to recommendations proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO) Advisory Group on Integrated Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance (AGISAR), in Spain and Denmark, and to analyse the relation between the outpatient use of Critically Important Antimicrobials (CIA) and the bacterial resistance rates to these agents.
The Antimicrobial consumption interactive database (ESAC-Net) and Antimicrobial resistance interactive database (EARS-Net) provided data on outpatient use (2010-2013) of CIA (fluoroquinolones, macrolides, and 3rd and 4th generation cephalosporins) and the percentages of isolates of the main pathogens causing serious infections, resistant to these agents.
The use of cephalosporins and fluoroquinolones, as well as the percentage of bacteria resistant, is higher in Spain than in Denmark. Although consumption of macrolides in both countries is similar, the proportion of Streptococcus pneumoniae resistant to macrolides is significantly higher in Spain.
The high outpatient consumption of CIA agents in Spain deviates substantially from the WHO recommendations. Moreover, it has the effect of elevated rates of antimicrobial resistance, that are lower in Denmark.
OBJECTIVES: Patient-based health status measures have an important role to play in the assessment of health care outcomes. Among these measures, global assessments increasingly have been used, although the understanding of the performance of these indicators and the determinants of patients responses is underdeveloped. In this study, the performance of a single-item global indicator of visual function in cataract patients of four international settings was compared. METHODS: Visual acuity and ocular comorbidity was assessed by patients' ophthalmologist using Snellen-type charts in patients referred for a first cataract surgery in the United States, Manitoba (Canada), Denmark, and Barcelona (Spain). Patients also were interviewed by telephone and asked to report overall trouble with vision on a single-item indicator ("great deal," "moderate," "a little," "none") and to complete the Visual Functioning Index (VF-14), a scale of visual function ranging from 0 (worst function) to 100 (best level of function), along with other questions including the degree the patient was bothered by symptoms as measured by the Cataract Symptom Score (CSS). A total of 1,407 patients completed the clinical examination and the preoperative interview. RESULTS: Distribution of overall trouble with vision varied across the sites, with the proportion of patients reporting a great deal of trouble ranging from 21.7% to 37.9%. In all sites, patients reporting more trouble with vision tended to show a poorer age-adjusted and sex-adjusted visual acuity. The proportion of patients reporting great deal of trouble with vision was higher in the groups with worse visual acuity (P
Antibiotic use and misuse are linked to pathogen resistance and, as such, both constitute a public health issue with local, national, and global dimensions. Early studies have shown striking variations in the use of these drugs between Nordic and Mediterranean countries. The aim of the present study was to describe and compare antibiotic prescribing in Primary Care in Denmark and Aragón (a North-eastern Spanish region).
Outpatient antibiotic prescription data (2010) were obtained from the National Institute for Health Data and Disease Control (Denmark), and the Information System on Medication Consumption in Aragón. The consumption of antibiotics (ATC J01) was analyzed from the prescription rates and the number of defined daily dose (DDD) per 1000 inhabitants/day (DID).
The rate of antibiotic prescription in 2010 in Aragón was greater than in Denmark (407 compared to 315 exposed individuals/1000 inhabitants). There were significant differences as regards overall consumption of antibiotics (23.2 DID in Aragón and 17.0 DID in Denmark), as well as the therapeutic group selection. There was an elevated use of broad spectrum penicillins, quinolones and cephalosporins in the Spanish region while, in Denmark, the most-consumed antibiotic was narrow spectrum penicillin.
The use of antibiotics in the Spanish region is very high, and there are marked differences in the choice of drug between this region and Denmark. Interventions are needed that promote the rational use of these drugs to reduce potential bacterial resistance, and to avoid unnecessary risks to patients.
Unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics is a major public health concern. General practitioners (GPs) prescribe most antibiotics, often for upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs), and have in general been shown to prescribe antibiotics more often to women. No studies have examined the influence of patient gender on unnecessary antibiotic prescribing.
To study a possible gender difference in unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions for URTIs in general practice; to assess whether a possible difference is explained by patient demand for antibiotics.
Post-hoc analysis of a cross-sectional study including 15,022 patients with URTI (acute rhinitis, acute otitis media, acute sinusitis, acute pharyngotonsillitis) from Argentina, Denmark, Lithuania, Russia, Spain and Sweden (HAPPY AUDIT Project). The association between gender and unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions, unadjusted and adjusted for treatment demand, was analysed using logistic regression models.
A total of 25% of patients with URTI received antibiotics; in 45% of the cases, antibiotics were unnecessary. Overall, no gender difference for unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics for URTIs was found. Women with acute otitis media received an unnecessary antibiotic twice as often as men (14.4% versus 7.1%). In Danish patients with acute pharyngotonsillitis, there was a gender difference in unnecessary prescriptions for antibiotics (women 29.1% versus men 48.6%). Some 14% of patients receiving unnecessary antibiotics demonstrated a demand for antibiotics, but no gender difference was found in this group.
This study indicated a high rate of unnecessary antibiotic prescribing for URTIs in general practice, but overall found no gender differences in receiving unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions.
To describe international variation in anesthesia care and monitoring during cataract surgery and to discuss its implications for cost and safety.
A standardized questionnaire was sent to random samples of ophthalmologists in the United States, Canada, and Barcelona, Spain, and to all ophthalmologists in Denmark. The survey was conducted in 1993 and 1994. Certified ophthalmologists who had performed 1 or more cataract extractions in the previous year were eligible for enrollment.
The response rates were 62% in the United States (n=148), 67% in Canada (n=276), 70% in Barcelona (n=89), and 80% in Denmark (n=82). The anesthetic technique for cataract surgery varied significantly between sites (P
OBJECTIVES: To describe international variation in the management of patients with cataacts in 4 health care systems and to discuss the potential implications for cost and utilization of services. DESIGN: To characterize current clinical practice on patients with no coexisting medical or ocular conditions, a standardized questionnaire was sent to random samples of ophthalmologists in the United States (response rate, 82.5%), Canada (66.9%), and Barcelona, Spain (70.4%), and to all ophthalmologists in Denmark (80.1%). From the United States, 526 ophthalmologists who performed cataract surgery participated in the study; there were 276 from Canada, 89 from Barcelona, and 82 from Denmark. RESULTS: Although in all 4 sites most surgeons reported that they performed A-scanning, fundus examination, and refraction routinely before surgery, significant crossnational variation was observed in preoperative ophthalmic and medical testing. While preoperative medical tests were virtually unused in Denmark, they were widely used in the other sites. A significantly higher proportion of the surgeons in the United States and Barcelona reported that they performed less than 100 extractions per year compared with surgeons in Canada and Denmark (P
In patients with lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) it is a challenge to identify who should be treated with antibiotics. According to international guidelines, antibiotics should be prescribed to patients with suspected pneumonia while acute bronchitis is considered a viral infection and should, generally, not be treated with antibiotics. Overdiagnosis of pneumonia in patients with LRTIs may lead to antibiotic overprescribing.
To investigate the prevalence of presumed pneumonia in patients with LRTI in two countries with different antibiotic prescribing rates (Denmark and Spain) and to compare which symptoms and clinical tests are of most importance for the GP when choosing a diagnosis of pneumonia rather than acute bronchitis.
A cross-sectional study including GPs from Denmark and Spain was conducted as part of the EU-funded project HAPPY AUDIT. A total of 2,698 patients with LRTI were included.
In Denmark, 47% of the patients with LRTI were classified with a diagnosis of pneumonia compared with 11% in Spain. In Spain, fever and a positive x-ray weighted significantly more in the diagnosis of pneumonia than in Denmark. Danish GPs, however, attached more importance to dyspnoea/polypnoea and C-reactive protein levels >50mg/L. None of the other typical symptoms of pneumonia had a significant influence.
Our results indicate that GPs' diagnostic criteria for pneumonia differ substantially between Denmark and Spain. The high prevalence of pneumonia among Danish patients with LRTI may indicate overdiagnosis of pneumonia which, in turn, may lead to antibiotic overprescribing.
Comment In: Prim Care Respir J. 2013 Dec;22(4):387-824301858
Comment In: Prim Care Respir J. 2013 Dec;22(4):383-524270365
The patient's perspective about waiting for elective surgery is an important consideration in the management of waiting lists, yet it has received little attention to date. This study was undertaken to assess the acceptability of personal waiting times from the perspective of patients, and to examine waiting time and patient characteristics associated with the perception that a wait for cataract surgery is too long. The international prospective study was conducted in three sites with explicit waiting systems: Manitoba, Canada; Denmark; and Barcelona, Spain. Patients over the age of 50 years were recruited consecutively from ophthalmologists' practices at the time of their enlistment for first-eye cataract surgery. Anticipated waiting time, opinions about personal waiting time, and patients' visual and health characteristics were identified by means of telephone interviews. The 550 patients interviewed at the time of enlistment for surgery anticipated waits varying from
The aim of the study was to analyse and compare the quality of outpatient antimicrobial prescribing in Denmark and Aragón (in northeastern Spain), with the objective of assessing inappropriate prescribing.
Outpatient antimicrobial prescription data were obtained from the National Institute for Health Data and Disease Control in Denmark, and from the Aragón Information System of Drug Consumption. The number of Defined Daily Doses (DDD) of the different substances were calculated, and the quality of the antimicrobial prescription was analysed using the 'Drug Utilization 90 %' method and the European Surveillance of Antimicrobial Consumption (ESAC) quality indicators for outpatient antimicrobial use.
The majority of the prescriptions (90 % of total DDD) were comprised of 14 (of 39) different antimicrobials in Denmark, based mainly on narrow spectrum penicillin, and 11 (of 59) antimicrobials in Aragón, principally broad spectrum penicillins. The quality indicators described an elevated consumption of antimicrobials and an important seasonal variation in Aragón. In Denmark, the values obtained reflected a more moderate use with minor seasonal variation.
The results showed important differences between the two study areas in relation to quantity and quality of outpatient antimicrobial prescription. The data indicate an overuse (and/or misuse) of antimicrobials in the Spanish region, despite national and local guidelines. The pattern of prescription in Denmark reflects a better adherence to recommendations.
The prevalence of antibiotic resistance in a country reflects the local consumption of antibiotics. The majority of antibiotics are prescribed in general practice and most prescriptions are attributable to treatment of respiratory tract infections (RTIs). The aim of this study was to compare general practitioners' (GPs') prescribing of antibiotics for respiratory tract infections in a country with a high prevalence of antibiotic resistance (Spain) with a country with a low prevalence of antibiotic resistance (Denmark).
A group of GPs in Copenhagen and Barcelona registered all contacts ( n=2833) with patients with RTIs during a 3-week period between 1 November 2001 and 31 January 2002.
Overall, Spanish GPs treated a higher proportion of patients than Danish GPs. After adjusting for unequal distribution of age and sex, we found that Spanish GPs prescribed significantly more antibiotics to patients with focus of infection in tonsils and bronchi/lungs. Narrow-spectrum penicillin was the most used antibiotic in Denmark, representing 58% of all prescriptions issued, followed by macrolide and broad-spectrum penicillin. In Spain, prescriptions were distributed among a great number of compounds, with broad-spectrum penicillins and combinations of amoxicillin plus beta-lactamase inhibitors most frequently used.
The substantial difference in the way GPs manage respiratory tract infections in Denmark and Spain cannot be explained by different patterns of RTIs in general practice. The discrepancies indicate variations in national recommendations, different treatment traditions or different impact of pharmaceutical marketing.