Community Acquired Pneumonia (CAP) is a frequent and potentially fatal infectious disease which, in the majority of cases, needs an antibiotic intervention.
Objectives: Aim was to evaluate antibiotic treatment patterns regarding all types of mono- and combination-therapy throughout the local clinical centres (LCCs) represented in the German competence network CAPNETZ (=Community Acquired Pneumonia Network) and to identify clinical indicators for regional differences.
Methods: We analysed outpatients and inpatients recruited between March 2003 and April 2005. Patient and treatment details were registered online using standardised data entry forms. A logistic regression model was issued for the 4 most frequently applied antibiotics, adjusting for potentially relevant confounders.
Results: The study sample consisted of 3221 patients at the age of 18 to 102 years. Overall, aminopenicillins plus betalactamase inhibitor (20.4%), fluoroquinolone (17.0%), macrolides combined with cephalosporins third generation (10.6%) and cephalosporins third generation (8.9%) were most frequently prescribed. After control for potential confounders, significant treatment differences remained between study sites. Regional variability of antibiotic CAP-treatment could not be attributed to a number of clinical or sociodemographic factors.
Conclusions: The presented treatment variability ranges within given guidelines, but indicates the need for an ongoing implementation of evidence-based guidelines in order to avoid potential negative clinical or economic consequences.