Antibiotic treatment of community-acquired pneumonia: A questionnaire survey in Danish general practice

Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2022 Jan;130(1):151-157. doi: 10.1111/bcpt.13684. Epub 2021 Nov 16.


Background: Discrepancies exist in Danish guidelines for the treatment of bacterial community-acquired pneumonia (CAP). This study aimed to investigate how general practitioners (GPs) treat adults with CAP and explore associations between GP characteristics and treatment duration.

Methods: In autumn 2020, GPs in the North Denmark Region were asked to complete an electronic questionnaire on antibiotic prescribing for CAP. Information about GP gender, age, experience and type of practice was obtained. Multivariable logistic regression was used to analyse the association between GP characteristics and treatment duration.

Results: A total of 298 GPs were invited to participate of whom 108 completed the survey. Penicillin V was used as first line treatment for CAP by all participants. Treatment duration varied from 5 (54.6%) to 10 days (8.3%). A 5-day course of penicillin was less likely to be prescribed by male GPs (odds ratio [OR] 0.35, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.13-0.94) and more likely to be prescribed by GPs with 5-9 years of experience in general practice (OR 5.03, 95% CI 1.09-23.21) compared to those with 10-19 years of experience.

Conclusion: Variation in antibiotic treatment of CAP emphasises the importance of generating solid evidence about the optimal duration regarding both effectiveness and safety.

Keywords: antibiotics; community-acquired pneumonia; general practice; therapy duration.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Community-Acquired Infections / drug therapy*
  • Denmark
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • General Practice / statistics & numerical data
  • General Practitioners / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Penicillin V / administration & dosage
  • Pneumonia / drug therapy*
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians' / statistics & numerical data*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Penicillin V