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The Diagnostic Problem of Prescribing Antibiotics in URI

By Peter Heaton


A questionnaire was circulated to 298 Ontario family physicians. They were asked how frequently they prescribed antibiotics for uncomplicated upper respiratory infections; what investigations they used; their choice from a list of absolute and relative indications of antibiotics; and their comments on the problem. Fifteen percent of the 209 respondents stated they “usually” prescribed antibiotics; 43 percent prescribed them about “half the time”; and 42 percent prescribed them “rarely”

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