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Medical management of acute upper respiratory infections in an urban primary care out-of-hours facility: crosssectional study of patient presentations and expectations

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posted on 2022-08-24, 14:11 authored by Ray O'Connor, Jane O'Doherty, Andrew O'ReganAndrew O'Regan, Aoife O'Neill, Claire McMahon, COLUM DUNNECOLUM DUNNE
Objectives The purpose of this study was to examine the expectations of patients attending an urban primary care out-of-hours (OOH) facility with acute upper respiratory tract infection (acute URTI) regarding clinical examination, symptom management, information on their condition, reassurance, antibiotic treatment and other possible options including referral. Design Cross-sectional design. Setting One urban primary care OOH facility located in the midwest of Ireland. Participants 457 patients filled out a questionnaire while waiting in the OOH facility; 22 surveys were excluded as the patients did not present with symptoms of acute URTI resulting in 435 patients’ data being included in this study. There were 59.5% female participants and 40.5% male participants. Results 435 patients with acute URTI symptoms participated in the survey, representing 25.4% of those attending the single branch where the survey was conducted (n=1715). Of the study participants, 43% were aged under 6 years and 60% were women. The most common presenting symptoms were cough (72%), throat ache (46%) and common cold (26%). The most common expectations were for further examination (53%), reassurance (51%), information (49%) and medication for cough (47%), with 34% expecting an antibiotic. Conclusions Only one in three patients attending this primary care OOH facility with acute URTI symptoms had an expectation of antibiotics, with most seeking further assessment, information and reassurance. Recognition of such expectations may be important considerations for clinicians when deciding on management options for patients with acute URTI.

History

Publication

BMJ Open;9. e025396

Publisher

BMC

Note

peer-reviewed

Other Funding information

Irish College of General Practitioners Research and Education Foundation

Language

English

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