Exploration of Primary Care Clinician Attitudes and Cognitive Characteristics Associated With Prescribing Antibiotics for Asymptomatic Bacteriuria
Lydecker, Alison D.
Scherer, Laura D.
Magder, Laurence S.
Morgan, Daniel J., M.D., M.S.
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AbstractIMPORTANCE Antibiotic treatment for asymptomatic bacteriuria is not recommended in guidelines but is a major driver of inappropriate antibiotic use. OBJECTIVE To evaluate whether clinician culture and personality traits are associated with a predisposition toward inappropriate prescribing. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS This survey study involved secondary analysis of a previously completed survey. A total of 723 primary care clinicians in active practice in Texas, the Mid-Atlantic, and the Pacific Northwest, including physicians and advanced practice clinicians, were surveyed from June 1, 2018, to November 26, 2019, regarding their approach to a hypothetical patient with asymptomatic bacteriuria. Clinician culture was represented by training background and region of practice. Attitudes and cognitive characteristics were represented using validated instruments to assess numeracy, risk-taking preferences, burnout, and tendency to maximize care. Data were analyzed from November 8, 2021, to March 29, 2022. INTERVENTIONS The survey described a male patient with asymptomatic bacteriuria and changes in urine character. Clinicians were asked to indicate whether they would prescribe antibiotics. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The main outcome was self-reported willingness to prescribe antibiotics for asymptomatic bacteriuria. Willingness to prescribe antibiotics was hypothesized to be associated with clinician characteristics, background, and attitudes, including orientation on the Medical Maximizer-Minimizer Scale. Individuals with a stronger orientation toward medical maximizing prefer treatment even when the value of treatment is ambiguous. RESULTS Of the 723 enrolled clinicians, 551 (median age, 32 years [IQR, 29-44 years]; 292 [53%] female; 296 [54%] White) completed the survey (76%response rate), including 288 resident physicians, 202 attending physicians, and 61 advanced practice clinicians. A total of 303 respondents (55%) were from the Mid-Atlantic, 136 (25%) were from Texas, and 112 (20%) were from the Pacific Northwest. A total of 392 clinicians (71%of respondents) indicated that they would prescribe antibiotic treatment for asymptomatic bacteriuria in the absence of an indication. In multivariable analyses, clinicians with a background in family medicine (odds ratio [OR], 2.93; 95%CI, 1.53-5.62) or a high score on the Medical Maximizer-Minimizer Scale (indicating stronger medical maximizing orientation; OR, 2.06; 95%CI, 1.38-3.09) were more likely to prescribe antibiotic treatment for asymptomatic bacteriuria. Resident physicians (OR, 0.57; 95%CI, 0.38-0.85) and clinicians in the Pacific Northwest (OR, 0.49; 95%CI, 0.33-0.72) were less likely to prescribe antibiotics for asymptomatic bacteriuria. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE The findings of this survey study suggest that most primary care clinicians prescribe inappropriate antibiotic treatment for asymptomatic bacteriuria in the absence of risk factors. This tendency is more pronounced among family medicine physicians and medical maximizers and is less common among resident physicians and clinicians in the US Pacific Northwest. Clinician characteristics should be considered when designing antibiotic stewardship interventions.
DescriptionThe article processing charges (APC) for this open access article were partially funded by the Health Sciences and Human Services Library's Open Access Publishing Fund for Early-Career Researchers.
Rights/TermsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
KeywordDrug Resistance, Microbial
Practice Patterns, Physicians'
Physicians, Primary Care
Identifier to cite or link to this itemhttp://hdl.handle.net/10713/20979
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- Creative Commons
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International