Cluster randomised controlled trial: a booklet on chest infection in primary care
Can reconsultation be reduced by giving out patient information?
Respiratory tract infections in children are a common cause of consultation to the general practitioner (GP). Many parents will reconsult GPs during the course of their child’s infection and will be prescribed antibiotics, both of which are often unnecessary in the treatment of respiratory tract infections. This use of resources is wasteful, and contributes to increasing antibiotic resistance. The authors suggest that the problem lies in the fears and expectations of parents, as well as GPs’ expectations about what parents want from the consultation. They argue that better communication could help alleviate parents’ fears and create more realistic expectations about the course and treatment of the illness. Previous research has shown that education of patients by nurses about ear pain reduced the likelihood that patients would consult a doctor about the same problem in the next year. The authors of this study wanted to test whether an information booklet, used