Racial Differences in ARTI Treatment Received in Pediatric Emergency Departments

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Study investigators urge that future research should "seek to understand" the differences is antibiotic prescriptions by race and ethnicity.
Study investigators urge that future research should "seek to understand" the differences is antibiotic prescriptions by race and ethnicity.

HealthDay News — Non-Hispanic black and Hispanic children are less likely than non-Hispanic white children to receive antibiotics for viral acute respiratory tract infection (ARTI) in the pediatric emergency department (PED), according to a study published online in Pediatrics.

Monika K. Goyal, MD, from George Washington University in Washington, DC, and colleagues conducted a retrospective cohort study of encounters at seven PEDs in 2013. The authors examined the correlation between patient race and ethnicity and antibiotics administered or prescribed among children discharged with viral ARTI. A total of 39,445 PED encounters for viral ARTIs met the inclusion criteria.

The researchers found that 2.6% of the PED encounters for viral ARTIs resulted in patient receipt of antibiotics, including 4.3%, 1.9%, 2.6%, and 2.9% of non-Hispanic white, non-Hispanic black, Hispanic, and other non-Hispanic children, respectively. Non-Hispanic black, Hispanic, and other non-Hispanic children remained less likely to receive antibiotics for viral ARTIs in multivariable analyses (odds ratios, 0.44, 0.65, and 0.68, respectively).

"Future research should seek to understand why racial and ethnic differences in overprescribing exist, including parental expectations, provider perceptions of parental expectations, and implicit provider bias," the authors write.

Reference

Goyal MK, Johnson TJ, Chamberlain JM, et al; for the Pediatric Care Applied Research Network (PECARN). Racial and ethnic differences in antibiotic use for viral illness in emergency departments [published online September 5, 2017]. Pediatrics. doi:10.1542/peds.2017-0203

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