Background In Australia, it is not known how much antibiotic prescribing by infectious diseases physicians is long-term, or how confident they are with the evidence behind this practice. Objective Survey Australian infectious diseases physicians to assess attitudes and prescribing practice prescribing prolonged courses of antibiotics. Methods An online questionnaire was distributed to the mailing group for the Australian Society of Infectious Diseases. Responses were collected from 29th October to 12th November 2015. Results The majority of respondents practiced in Australia as Infectious Diseases physicians, microbiologists, or trainees. 88% had prescribed long-term antibiotics. Heterogeneity was noted in the indications for prescription, including recurrent UTIs, cellulitis or chest infections, prosthetic joint infection and vascular graft infection. Beta-lactams antibiotics were prescribed most frequently. 22% of respondents had prescribed rifampicin/fusidic acid most frequently, while 11% could not identify a single antibiotic that they used most frequently, due to the heterogeneity of indications for prescribing. 95% stated that they would stop long-term antibiotic therapy if appropriate, and 74% were willing to enrol their patients into a randomised control trial looking at stopping long-term therapy. Conclusion Most infectious diseases physicians who responded to the survey prescribe long-term antibiotics, with great heterogeneity in the indications for which these antibiotics are prescribed.
- Antimicrobial stewardship
- Infectious diseases specialists
- Long term prescribing