Acute pharyngitis: Low adherence to guidelines highlights need for greater flexibility in managing paediatric cases

Jacob Urkin, Meirave Allenbogen, Michael Friger, Shlomo Vinker, Haim Reuveni, Asher Elahayani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Aim To describe how physicians manage acute pharyngitis with respect to the clinical guidelines. Methods The computerized medical records of 105 961 children in one district of a large health maintenance organization were analysed, to identify children aged 0-18 years with a diagnosis of pharyngitis and paying their first visit for pharyngitis. Main outcome variables were whether a throat culture was performed and the time between their medical consultation and purchasing any antibiotics, if at all. Results A total of 28 511 episodes of pharyngitis in 19 865 children aged 0-18, recorded by 125 physicians, were analysed (average of 1.4 episodes per child). Throat cultures were performed in 14 847 episodes (52%), with tests more common among paediatricians and younger physicians. Antibiotics were purchased in 24.8% of these cases, without knowing the result, and were more commonly associated with male physicians, family practitioners, children living in rural areas and drugs bought before the weekend. Conclusion About 50% of the physicians did not adhere to the guidelines. Factors influencing adherence included physician training, years in practice and patients' nonmedical characteristics. It is suggested that the existing clinical guidelines should address additional modifiers that will make the more applicable in practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1075-1080
Number of pages6
JournalActa Paediatrica, International Journal of Paediatrics
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2013


  • Guidelines
  • Overuse of antibiotics
  • Pharyngitis
  • Primary physician
  • Sore throat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Acute pharyngitis: Low adherence to guidelines highlights need for greater flexibility in managing paediatric cases'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this