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Community and primary care nursing
Duration of antibiotic treatment for common infections frequently exceeds recommended guidelines, potentially impacting antimicrobial resistance
  1. Nicole Zhang
  1. Nursing, Hartwick College, Oneonta, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Professor Nicole Zhang, Nursing, Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY 13820, USA; zhangn{at}

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Commentary on: Pouwels KB, Hopkins S, Llewelyn MJ, et al. Duration of antibiotic treatment for common infections in English primary care: cross sectional analysis and comparison with guidelines. BMJ 2019;364:l440. doi: 10.1136/bmj.l440

Implications for research and practice

  • Adherence to clinical prescribing guidelines for common infections stands to significantly decrease the number of days that patients take antibiotics. This could potentially have significant impacts on antimicrobial resistance.

  • Further research could explore the relationship of adherence to guidelines and antimicrobial resistance, and ultimately explore antimicrobial stewardship programmes to increase compliance with guidelines.


The realisation that antibiotic overuse can be harmful has shaped modern global movements of antibiotic prophylaxis and stewardship. Furthermore, nursing has had an established role in this movement.1 As a result, adherence to guidelines for antibiotic treatment for numerous common infections is a …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.