A comparison of various guidelines and strategies for treatment of sore throat provides information that may help optimize use of diagnostic tests and reduce unnecessary use of antibiotics, according to a study in the April 7 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
According to background information in the article, recent guidelines for management of a sore throat (pharyngitis) vary in their recommendations concerning antibiotic treatment and the need for laboratory confirmation of group A streptococcus (GAS, "strep throat"). An estimated 6.7 million health care visits are made by adults with a sore throat in the United States annually; between 1989 and 1999, 70 percent of adults presenting with sore throat received an antibiotic prescription.
Warren McIsaac, M.D., M.Sc., of Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, and colleagues conducted a study to assess the impact of different clinical guidelines on the appropriateness of antibiotics prescribed, the proportion of GAS sore throat cases identified, and the use of throat cultures and rapid tests to detect GAS in a population of children and adults with a chief complaint of a sore throat.
Paul Cantin | EurekAlert!
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