Interventions in health care professionals to improve treatment in children with upper respiratory tract infections

Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2010 Oct;74(10):1113-21. doi: 10.1016/j.ijporl.2010.07.008. Epub 2010 Aug 6.


Objective: To analyse which strategies are used to promote evidence based interventions in the management of children with upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) in daily practice. To assess the effectiveness of these interventions, and when more are effective--which works best. And to analyse the costs associated with these interventions.

Methods: We systematically searched Pubmed, Embase and CENTRAL bibliographies for studies on the effectiveness of strategies aimed at changing health care professionals' behavior in the management of children with URTIs.

Results: The search yielded 11,788 references, of which 18 studies were eligible, and 10 met the inclusion criteria. Most strategies were aimed at changing antibiotic prescribing behavior in children with acute otitis media. All strategies used (i.e. computer interventions, educational sessions with or without education materials, collaborative development of guidelines and a training video in combination with a risk factor checklist) were effective in changing health care professionals practice regarding children with URTIs. Multifaceted and computer strategies work best. Computer interventions reduced antibiotic prescribing by 4% and 34% and increased guideline compliance by 41%. Educational sessions combined with education materials reduced inappropriate antibiotic prescription by 2% and 17% and increased knowledge of compliance enhancing strategies by 28% and 29%. Collaborative guideline development combined with educational materials reduced inappropriate antibiotic prescription by 24% and 40%. Finally, by a combination of a training video and a risk factor checklist appropriate referrals by the GP to the otolaryngologist increased by 37%. Since the costs associated with the interventions were not explicitly mentioned in the articles, no conclusion on cost-effectiveness can be drawn.

Conclusion: Multifaceted and computer strategies appear to be most effective to put evidence into practice in the area of URTIs in children.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Delivery of Health Care / economics
  • Delivery of Health Care / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / diagnosis*
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / etiology
  • Respiratory Tract Infections / therapy*