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Can Implementation Science Help to Overcome Challenges in Translating Judicious Antibiotic Use Into Practice?  Comment on “National Trends in Visit Rates and Antibiotic Prescribing for Adults With Acute Sinusitis” and “Geographic Variation in Outpatient Antibiotic Prescribing Among Older Adults”

Ralph Gonzales, MD, MSPH; Sara Ackerman, PhD, MPH; Margaret Handley, PhD, MPH
Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(19):1471-1473. doi:10.1001/2013.jamainternmed.532.
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In this issue of the Archives, 2 national studies1,2 provide distinct perspectives on the problem of antibiotic overuse in the United States. Fairlie et al1 conducted a secondary analysis of National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey data covering a 10-year period to measure antibiotic prescription rates for the common condition of acute sinusitis. Zhang et al2 analyzed Medicare Part D claims data for patients 65 years or older from 2007 through 2009 to assess geographic and seasonal variation in antibiotic prescriptions, considering prevalence patterns of common acute respiratory tract infections (ARIs) and various covariates.Both studies used appropriate methods and advanced statistical analyses to show that the overuse of antibiotics remains high and that variation in overuse is not fully explained by clinical factors available in these data sets. Studies such as these are important reminders that the United States still has a long way to go in reducing antibiotic overuse.

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