Background/aim: Rapid antigen test (RAT) is a practical test to detect the presence of Group A beta hemolytic streptococcus antigens in throat swab samples. The aim of this study is to investigate the changes in the empiric antibiotic prescribing behavior of 10 family physicians in Kırıkkale Province after using RAT in 2017.
Materials and methods: RAT test practice started in Family Medicine in February 2017. Family Medicine Information System (FMIS) includes clinical and prescription records of 10 family physicians, providing health service to approximately 35,000 residents in Kırıkkale. The numbers of antibiotics prescribed by the physicians according to the ICD-10 codes (including upper respiratory tract infections) in February, March, and April of 2015, 2016, 2017 were determined. The number and group of antibiotics prescribed by the family physicians with the determined diagnosis and time periods were specified in the FMIS and recorded.
Results: Antibiotic prescription behaviors of family physicians do not show a significant difference between 2015 and 2016. There was a dramatic and significant decrease in the number of prescribed antibiotics in 2017 compared to 2015 and 2016 (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: This study shows that there has been a significant decrease in antibiotic prescription in 10 Family Medicine departments in 2017 in comparison to February, March, and April 2015 and 2016. The use of RAT resulted in a decrease in antibiotic prescription rates in 2017.
Keywords: Group A beta hemolytic streptococcus; family medicine; rapid antigen test; rational antibiotics use.
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