Diagnosis-prescribing surveys in 2000, 2002 and 2005 in Swedish general practice: consultations, diagnosis, diagnostics and treatment choices

Scand J Infect Dis. 2008;40(8):648-54. doi: 10.1080/00365540801932439.


The aim of this study is to present diagnostic patterns, diagnostics used and antibiotic treatment in relation to guidelines in 3 repeated diagnosis-prescription studies conducted simultaneously in general practice in 5 Swedish counties, during 1 week in November 2000, 2002 and 2005. General practitioners (GPs) at the participating health centres were asked to complete a form for all patients with symptoms of an infectious disease. During the studied periods a total of 15,371 consultations was registered. Consultations with GPs diagnosed as respiratory tract infection (RTI), especially consultations for sore throat, decreased considerably between y 2000 and 2005. The percentage of patients allocated an RTI diagnosis and prescribed an antibiotic declined significantly from 54% to 49% and the decline was most pronounced among children. Penicillin V remained the dominant antibiotic prescribed throughout the study periods. For lower urinary tract infections there was a significant change in choice of prescribed antibiotics with an increase for pivmecillinam and nitrofurantoin and a decrease for trimethoprim, in accordance with recommendations. The results indicate a quite close adherence to current guidelines, with changes in the pattern of consultations as well as in the management of infectious diseases in general practice in Sweden.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Drug Prescriptions / statistics & numerical data*
  • Family Practice
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infections / diagnosis*
  • Infections / drug therapy*
  • Infections / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Penicillin V / therapeutic use
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*
  • Referral and Consultation / statistics & numerical data
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / diagnosis
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / drug therapy
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / epidemiology
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Sweden
  • Urinary Tract Infections / diagnosis
  • Urinary Tract Infections / drug therapy
  • Urinary Tract Infections / epidemiology
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Penicillin V