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A study led by NDPCHS Senior Qualitative Researcher Dr Aleksandra Borek reached number five on the BJGP Open’s top 10 most read articles of 2023 list.

The study, titled ‘Re-examining advice to complete antibiotics courses: a qualitative study with clinicians and patients’, examined clinicians' and patients' views on stopping antibiotics when better (SAWB) for urinary tract infections (UTIs), and explored comparisons with other acute infections.

Working with primary care clinicians and patients who recently had UTIs in England, Ola and the other authors of the study used remote one-to-one interviews and a focus group to explore views around SAWB. All of the participants were unfamiliar with SAWB and felt it was contradictory to well-known advise to complete antibiotic courses, but were interested to learn more about the risks and benefits.

Clinicians were more open to the idea of SAWB if evidence and guidelines supported it, whereas patients were more hesitant due to concerns about the risks of UTIs reoccurring or experiencing complications.

The authors concluded that both patients and clinicians need good evidence to understand that this approach to self-determining when to stop antibiotic treatment is safe and beneficial. SWAB should be offered with an explanation of why the advice differs from the usual ‘complete the course’ instruction associated with antibiotics, and a clear indication of when exactly to stop the treatment.

Read the full paper and see which other articles made it to the top ten. 


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