Clinical Trial: Patient Centered Communication Training to Reduce Antibiotic Use in Acute Respiratory Tract Infections

This study has been completed.

Sponsors and Collaborators: University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland
Basel Institute of Clinical Epidemiology (BICE)
Swiss National Science Foundation
Novartis Pharmaceuticals
Information provided by: University Hospital, Basel, Switzerland


The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of a short training program for general practitioners in patient-centered communication to reduce antibiotic prescription for acute respiratory tract infections (ARTI).

Condition Treatment or Intervention
Respiratory Tract Infections
 Behavior: patient-centered communication training

MedlinePlus related topics:  Respiratory Diseases

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Educational/Counseling/Training, Randomized, Single Blind, Active Control, Parallel Assignment, Efficacy Study

Official Title: Multidimensional Intervention Program to Reduce Antibiotic Prescriptions for Acute Respiratory Tract Infections in Adults: a Randomized Controlled Trial in Primary Care

Further Study Details: 
Primary Outcomes: Up-take of antibiotic prescription confirmed by pharmacists within 2 weeks following the initial consultation
Secondary Outcomes: Patient satisfaction with consultation (on validated scale); patient enablement (on validated scale); days with restriction from ARTI within 14 days initial consultation; side effects from medication; re-consultation rates; days off from work
Expected Total Enrollment:  900

Study start: January 2004;  Study completion: November 2004
Last follow-up: June 2004;  Data entry closure: August 2004

Acute respiratory tract infections (ARTI) constitute the most frequent reason for seeking ambulatory care and for the prescription of antibiotics, despite the mostly viral origin of ARTI. Antibiotic prescriptions for ARTI increase unnecessary drug expenditures and are the main reason for increasing drug resistance of common bacteria. Evidence from intervention studies shows that merely providing physicians with guidelines and educational material for the management of acute respiratory tract infections is not enough to reduce antibiotic prescriptions for these conditions. The main reasons for antibiotic prescription in ARTI are non-medical and related to the physician patient relationship, patients’ expectations and beliefs about the benefit of antibiotics. Therefore patient-centered communication could be a promising approach to reduce the rate of antibiotic prescription in ambulatory care.

Comparison: General practitioners (GPs) trained in patient-centered communication in addition to evidence-based guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of ARTI compared to GPs just introduced to evidence-based guidelines.


Ages Eligible for Study:  18 Years and above,  Genders Eligible for Study:  Both


Inclusion Criteria:

  • 18 years or older
  • Symptoms of an acute repiratory tract infection for >1 and <28 days

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Patients without informed consent
  • Not fluent in German
  • Patients with a psychiatric disorder
  • Patients with a recurrent respiratory system infection with antibiotic treatment in the previous 4 weeks

Location Information

      Basel institute for clinical epidemiology, Basel,  4031,  Switzerland

More Information

Study ID Numbers:  3200B0-102137; 04B29; 2003/051; 242/03
Record last reviewed:  March 2005
Last Updated:  March 10, 2005
Record first received:  March 10, 2005 Identifier:  NCT00105248
Health Authority: Switzerland: Swissmedic (Awaiting confirmation) processed this record on 2005-04-08

Cache Date: April 9, 2005