Rev Esp Quimioter 2008;21(1):26-31

Antimicrobial selection criteria evaluation by family doctors and general practitioners

M. A. Ripoll ,  A. Orero ,  D. Vicente ,  A. Navarro ,  J. Gónzález ,  J. Prieto 


Objective. This study has aimed to know the criteria used by the Spanish medical practitioners/family doctors (MP/FD) when choosing an antimicrobial agent in their daily practice and to compare it with that existing one decade ago.


Material and methods. This is an observational, cross-sectional study performed with a structured personal interview to 450 MP/FDs randomly chosen with representativeness on the national level. The field work was made by specialized personnel in the last quarter of the year 2006. A 95.5% confidence interval margin was proposed, with a sample error = 4.7%, for maximum dispersion response (p=q=50).


Results. The parameter considered most when choosing an antibiotic treatment (spontaneous response) is clinical efficacy (two out of every three doctors). Clinical efficacy is following by the dosage regime and tolerability/safety, which was the principal parameter expressed ten years ago. Following these are antibacterial spectrum, administration route, price and bacterial resistances. However, they considered that the latter significantly influence clinical efficacy and when they are not relativized with other parameters, the doctors state that they take them into account «much/a lot». It seems that the opinion of the patient is usually considered and that the protocol, scientific information and expert’s opinions are the principal sources of information considered when prescribing an antimicrobial agent. Amoxicillin/clavulanate is the antibiotic drug of choice in all upper and lower respiratory tract infections. There is overestimation of the bacterial etiology in throat infections and acute bronchitis and S. pyogenes to betalactamic antibiotics. It is concluded that knowledge of the Spanish MP/DF regarding antimicrobial therapy has improved in recent years and that clinical efficacy, related with bacterial eradication and not only with clinical remission, is the factor that should be considered when choosing an antibiotic.


Key words:Antimicrobial therapy. Utilization of antibiotics. Antibiotic selection criteria. Antibiotics. Primary health care.

Rev Esp Quimioter 2008;21(1):26-31 [pdf]