HealthDay News — Although primary-care providers (PCPs) are familiar with guideline recommendations for antibiotic drug selection, they do not always comply with these guidelines, results of research published in Emerging Infectious Diseases indicate.

“It is not clear whether nonadherence is related to lack of familiarity with clinical practice guidelines or if other factors influence antibiotic selection once a diagnosis is established,” explained Guillermo V. Sanchez, MPH, of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues.

To explore knowledge, attitudes, and self-reported practices regarding antibiotic drug resistance and appropriate drug selection, the investigators conducted in-depth interviews with 36 primary-care clinicians.

Participants were generally familiar with antibiotic drug selections for common infections, but did not always comply with these guidelines. The belief that non-recommended agents are more likely to cure an infection, concern for patient or parent satisfaction, and fear of infectious complications were cited as reasons for nonadherence.

PCPs were inconsistent in their definition of broad- and narrow-spectrum antibiotic agents. Although widespread concern was expressed in relation to antibiotic resistance, it was not generally addressed on selection of therapy, found the scientists.

“Our study suggests that inappropriate antibiotic selection among PCPs is not caused by lack of familiarity with guideline recommendations,” concluded the researchers.

“Rather, this practice is the result of a complex interaction between perceived better cure rates for nonrecommended therapies and attempts to meet demands typical in primary-care settings.”


  1. Sanchez GV et al. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2014; Vol. 20(12).