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The Influence of a Continuing Medical Education Campaign on New Strategies to Improve Appropriate Use of Antibiotics
Introduction: Widespread use of antibiotics has led to drug-resistant bacteria and reports of drug-resistant infections. A continuing medical education (CME) campaign was used to improve antibiotic use among primary care providers. Methods: The Office of CME and Professional Development at the University of Colorado School of Medicine produces a semiannual, week-long course for primary care providers. A 2-year multifaceted CME campaign consisted of course content on antibiotic use, a practice audit, and two surveys to measure perceptions of the problem of antibiotic overuse, potential barriers to achieving appropriate use, and strategies to overcome barriers. Results: The overall response rate in the 2nd part of the campaign was 68.4%. Sixty-six percent of respondents had implemented at least one strategy to reduce antibiotic overuse. The rate was significantly higher among those who had attended previous reviews (81.0%) compared with those who had attended neither (54%, p = 0.0002). However, there was no "dose effect" on the rate of implementing a new strategy. Conclusions: Overuse of antibiotic therapy has important public health implications. Results suggest that mixed interactive and didactic CME program was effective in increasing awareness of antibiotic overuse and strategies for reducing antibiotic administration.
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