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Identifying prescribers of antibiotics in a primary care spinal cord injury cohort


Study Design — A retrospective cross-sectional study.

Objective — To identify who prescribes outpatient antibiotics among a primary care spinal cord injury (SCI) cohort.

Setting — ICES databases in Ontario, Canada.

Methods — A cohort of individuals with SCI were retrospectively identified using a tested-algorithm and chart reviews in a primary care electronic medical records database. The cohort was linked to a drug dispensing database to obtain outpatient antibiotic prescribing information, and prescriber details were obtained from a physician database.

Results — Final cohort included three hundred and twenty individuals with SCI. The average annual number of antibiotic courses dispensed for the SCI cohort was 2.0 ± 6.2. For dispensed antibiotics, 58.9% were prescribed by rostered-primary care practice physicians, compared to 17.9% by emergency and non-rostered primary care physicians, 17.4% by specialists and 6.1% by non-physician prescribers. Those who lived in urban areas and rural areas, compared to those who lived in suburban areas, were more likely to receive antibiotics from emergency and non-rostered primary care physicians than from rostered-primary care practice physicians.

Conclusion — Although individuals with SCI received outpatient antibiotic prescriptions from multiple sources, physicians from an individual’s rostered-primary care practice were the main antibiotic prescribers. As such, interventions to optimize antibiotics use in the SCI population should target the primary care practice.



Senthinathan A, Penner M, Tu K, Morris AM, Craven BC, Jaglal SB. Spinal Cord Ser Cases. 2024; 10(1):3. Epub 2024 Feb 1.

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