Skip to main content

01.08.2011 | Clinical and Epidemiological Study | Ausgabe 4/2011

Infection 4/2011

A national cross-sectional study on socio-behavioural factors that influence physicians’ decisions to begin antimicrobial therapy

Infection > Ausgabe 4/2011
E. Velasco, W. Espelage, M. Faber, I. Noll, A. Ziegelmann, G. Krause, T. Eckmanns



Current efforts to prevent antimicrobial resistance include limiting antimicrobial use, providing education about appropriate use, and developing better point-of-care tests, but what do physicians actually think of rational prescribing and potential interventions? We tried to ascertain which factors can influence a physician’s decision to start antimicrobial therapy on a patient, and their opinions on measures to promote rational prescribing.


We conducted a nationwide, cross-sectional survey of 10,600 physicians from medical registries of all known board-certified physicians in Germany.


Among respondents (n = 3,492; 33%; detailed non-response bias analysis included), 90% indicated that they decide to start antimicrobial therapy on a patient at least weekly, and 66% reported that they decide daily. We identified correlates for deciding to start antimicrobial therapy on a patient. Predictors were status as a hospital physician (odds ratio (OR) 1.29 (95% confidence interval (CI) 1.00–1.68)), male physician (OR 1.81 (95% CI 1.42–2.31)), being age 50–59 (OR 1.56 (95% CI 1.10–2.21)), and practising in states in the former East Germany (OR 1.60 (95% CI 1.15–2.21)). Each specialist was significantly less likely to decide to start a course of antimicrobial therapy than ENTs and urologists. Other predictors were agreeing to prescribe to be on the safe side (OR 1.34 (95% CI 1.03–1.76)), believing that the quality of prescribing practice improves after receiving continuing education from pharmaceutical companies (OR 1.43 (95% CI 1.11–1.84)), and having experience with failed therapy for resistant pathogens (OR 2.42 (95% CI 1.83–3.19)).


Physicians in our sample decide to start antimicrobial therapy on a patient, and they value intervention to support prudent use, for example continuing education, practice guidelines and implementation of surveillance measures. Socio-behavioural factors, regional variation, gender, and age merit further research to promote rational antimicrobial prescribing and explore related influencing factors.

Bitte loggen Sie sich ein, um Zugang zu diesem Inhalt zu erhalten

e.Med Interdisziplinär

Für Ihren Erfolg in Klinik und Praxis - Die beste Hilfe in Ihrem Arbeitsalltag als Mediziner

Mit e.Med Interdisziplinär erhalten Sie Zugang zu allen CME-Fortbildungen und Fachzeitschriften auf

Jetzt e.Med zum Sonderpreis bestellen!

Weitere Produktempfehlungen anzeigen
Über diesen Artikel

Weitere Artikel der Ausgabe 4/2011

Infection 4/2011 Zur Ausgabe
  1. Sie können e.Med Innere Medizin 14 Tage kostenlos testen (keine Print-Zeitschrift enthalten). Der Test läuft automatisch und formlos aus. Es kann nur einmal getestet werden.

  2. Sie können e.Med Allgemeinmedizin 14 Tage kostenlos testen (keine Print-Zeitschrift enthalten). Der Test läuft automatisch und formlos aus. Es kann nur einmal getestet werden.

Neu im Fachgebiet Innere Medizin

Mail Icon II Newsletter

Bestellen Sie unseren kostenlosen Newsletter Update Innere Medizin und bleiben Sie gut informiert – ganz bequem per eMail.

© Springer Medizin