Views on respiratory tract symptoms and antibiotics of Dutch general practitioners, practice staff and patients

Huug J. van Duijn, Marijke M. Kuyvenhoven, François G. Schellevis, T. J M Verheij

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: To explore views on respiratory tract symptoms (cough, sore throat and earache) and antibiotics of GPs, practice staff, and patients. Methods: In a nationwide study, 181 GPs, 204 practice staff members and 1250 patients from 90 practices participated by answering 14 items relating to views on respiratory tract symptoms and antibiotics in a written questionnaire. Differences in means were compared. Results: Patients more than GPs endorsed the seriousness of respiratory tract symptoms, the need to consult a GP, the need to prescribe antibiotics, and the ability of antibiotics to speed up recovery. GPs were more than patients convinced of the self-limiting character of respiratory tract symptoms and of the fact that antibiotics have side effects. Practice staff took a middle ground in most of these views. Conclusions: Differences between GPs, practice staff and patients must be taken into account when exploring patients' complaints and advising on treatment. Education and knowledge programmes for practice staff might be advocated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-347
Number of pages6
JournalPatient Education and Counseling
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2006


  • Antibiotics
  • General practitioners
  • Patients
  • Practice staff
  • Respiratory tract symptoms
  • Views

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