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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 11-15

Outpatient antibiotic prescribing behavior and their psychosocial predictors among early-career clinicians in Delhi, India

1 Department of Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Office of the Medical Superitendent, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurav Basu
Room No. 358, Department of Community Medicine, Maulana Azad Medical College, 2 Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg, New Delhi - 110 002
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJAM.IJAM_156_20

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Introduction: Psychosocial factors are significant drivers of inappropriate antibiotic prescription leading to antibiotic resistance. We ascertained the psychosocial predictors of outpatient antibiotic prescribing (OAP) behavior among early-career clinicians in India. Materials and Methods: We enrolled 200 early-career clinicians, including 100 medical interns and 100 junior residents (postgraduate student doctors) in six clinical departments, and collected data using a self-administered questionnaire. Response options were coded on five-item Likert scales. Results: Antimicrobial resistance was viewed as a significant public health problem by most (95%) participants. Presumptive antibiotic prescribing was reported by 84% of participants, although the participant attitude indicated a slight disinclination against the presumptive use of antibiotics (mean = 2.8, standard deviation = 0.72). The majority (52.5%) of the participant's perceived social pressure frequently influenced their decision to prescribe antibiotics to the outpatients. Furthermore, the maximum social pressure was perceived as driven by patient expectation for antibiotics and the existing antibiotic prescribing behavior of their peers and colleagues. The perception of increased social pressure stipulating antibiotic prescribing negatively correlated with the participant's intention to reduce antibiotic use in outpatients (r= −0.124, P < 0.001). Social pressure was reported to be higher when treating adult patients reporting diarrheal symptoms and children having cough. Conclusions: OAP practices among early-career clinicians working in the government health sector in India are mediated by considerable social pressure despite behavioral intention for reducing antibiotic use. The following core competencies are addressed in this article: Practice-based learning and improvement, Professionalism.

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