Inappropriate prescribing for ARI and diarrhoea is a serious health problem in many developing countries including Bangladesh. A baseline retrospective prescribing survey for ARI and diarrhoea have been conducted in randomly selected 60 thana health complexes (THCs) of Dhaka division of Bangladesh. In the 38 of 60 THCs, the prescribers did not comply with the standard treatment guidelines (STG) for ARI. They are marked as 'unsatisfactory performers'. In these THCs unnecessary antibiotics were prescribed in more than 50% of the encounters. The study further revealed that in 26 THCs, comprising 41.6% of the 38 THCs, the situation was even worse regarding the indiscriminate use of antibiotics. In these THCs antibiotics were prescribed in > or =72% of the encounters. For diarrhoea, only in 8.3% of the THCs antibiotics were prescribed in > or =50% of the encounters. Encouragingly, most of the prescribers prescribed ORS. So the diarrhoea cases were dropped from the intervention. The 24 out of 26 worse performing THCs for ARI management, were grouped into three groups: Group-I (implementing STG+ Audit), Group-II (STG) and Group-III (no intervention, control). The prescribers of the THCs belonging to Group-I and Group-II received STG+Audit and STG only respectively as intervention(s). On the contrary, the prescribers of the THCs of Group-III (control) did not receive any intervention. It was observed that after the implementation of interventions the use of the unnecessary antibiotics to treat ARI was significantly reduced (p<0.01) compared to pre-intervention period in Group-I (STG+Audit). In this group highly significant (p<0.000) reduction in antibiotics use was achieved in 6 out of 8 THCs. The average reduction in antibiotic use in terms of encounters was 23.7 and 15.2% in the Group-I and Group-II respectively owing to the intervention(s). Significant reduction in antibiotic use in terms of THCs was 3 (out of 8 THCs) and 2 (out of 8 THCs) belonging to the Group-II and Group-III respectively. When compensated for the change in the control group, the reduction of antibiotic use in terms of encounters was 15.2 and 6.9% in the THCs of the Group-I and Group-II respectively due to introduction of the interventions. The study concludes that STG supported by prescription audit are highly effective interventions to change the prescribing behaviour of the prescribers for ARI in the THCs.
Chowdhury AK, Khan OF, Matin MA, Begum K, Galib MA. Effect of standard treatment guidelines with or without prescription audit on prescribing for acute respiratory tract infection (ARI) and diarrhoea in some thana health complexes (THCs) of Bangladesh. Bangladesh Medical Research Council Bulletin. 2007 Apr; 33(1): 21-30