Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.
Skip to main content

©British Journal of General Practice. Background Antibiotics are overprescribed for non-severe acute infections in children in primary care. Aim To explore two different interventions that may reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing for non-severe acute infections. Design and setting A cluster randomised, factorial controlled trial in primary care, in Flanders, Belgium. Method Family physicians (FPs) enrolled children with non-severe acute infections into this study. The participants were allocated to one of four intervention groups according to whether the FPs performed: (1) a point-of-care C-reactive protein test (POC CRP); (2) a brief intervention to elicit parental concern combined with safety net advice (BISNA); (3) both POC CRP and BISNA; or (4) usual care (UC). Guidance on the interpretation of CRP was not provided. The main outcome was the immediate antibiotic prescribing rate. A mixed logistic regression was performed to analyse the data. Results In this study 2227 non-severe acute infections in children were registered by 131 FPs. In comparison with UC, POC CRP did not influence antibiotic prescribing, (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 1.01, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.57 to 1.79). BISNA increased antibiotic prescribing (AOR 2.04, 95% CI = 1.19 to 3.50). In combination with POC CRP, this increase disappeared. Conclusion Systematic POC CRP testing without guidance is not an effective strategy to reduce antibiotic prescribing for non-severe acute infections in children in primary care. Eliciting parental concern and providing a safety net without POC CRP testing conversely increased antibiotic prescribing. FPs possibly need more training in handling parental concern without inappropriately prescribing antibiotics.

Original publication




Journal article


British Journal of General Practice

Publication Date





e204 - e210