Primary care facilities using integrative medical approaches have lower antibiotic prescribing rates, which could be useful to fight antimicrobial resistance

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Restricting the use of antibiotics when other options are available will be a key tool in fighting the serious and growing threat of antimicrobial resistance.

A retrospective, cross-sectional analysis of prescription trends published in the British Medical Journal Open found that for many problems found in patients presenting at NHS clinics – for example, sore throat, urinary tract infections, common cold, or acute cough – antibiotics are frequently overprescribed.

But different prescription strategies are undertaken depending on physician training. This study examined 7,283 NHS clinics and found significantly lower prescription rates of antibiotics when a practitioner trained in an integrative therapy was present.

The study suggests that the clinical practices of these integrative care facilities could be instructive for conventional care facilities seeking ways to fight against AMR.