Analysis of awareness of practical medicinal doctors on diagnosis and treatment of pharyngitis in children
Keywords:group A β-hemolytic Streptococcus, pharyngitis, diagnosis, treatment
Painful throat is the main symptom of pharyngitis and one of the most common reasons to refer to a primary care physician. In 60.0–70.0% of cases acute pharyngitis is caused by viruses, including rhinoviruses, adenoviruses, enteroviruses, coronaviruses and others. More then about 5.0–15.0% of pharyngitis cases in adults and around 20.0–30.0% of cases in children are caused by bacterial infections, among which group A β hemolytic Streptococcus. Among other causative agents of bacterial pharyngitis, group C and group G Streptococcus, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia pneumoniae and Arcanobacterium haemolyticus are also reported, although much less frequently. Severe group A β-hemolytic Streptococcus-related diseases, such as acute rheumatic fever, rheumatic heart disease, post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis, and invasive infections are accountable for more than 517 000 deaths each year. Therefore, the issue of timely diagnosis and proper management of streptococcal pharyngitis is very important.
Purpose — to study, evaluate and analyze the knowledge of pediatricians in diagnosis and management of sore throat in children and to identify further ways to raise their awareness.
Matherials and methods. The poll among pediatricians on evaluation of diagnosis and management of pharyngitis in children were conducted. The study involved pediatricians of Ternopil region, Ukraine. In general 112 pediatricians were questioned. Among the participants 79 (70.5%) were the primary care pediatricians and 33 (29.5%) worked as the secondary and tertiary care pediatricians. Questionnaire and statistical research methods were used.
Results. Overall, 70.5% of pediatricians prescribed a throat swab for patients with pharyngitis in selected cases. However, they rarely (20.0%) used Centor or McIsaak criteria to choose management strategy of sore throat. Amoxicillin as a first-line antibiotic for streptococcal pharyngitis was chosen by 66.1% of respondents and primary care pediatricians prescribed it more often than the secondary and tertiary care pediatricians (p=0.0006), but antibiotic therapy was prescribed for 10 days only by 52.7% of respondents. Less than half of the correct answers were to questions related to the prescribing of antibacterial therapy in healthy children, in which group A β-hemolytic Streptococcus is detected in throat swab (39.3%) and in cases of positive antistreptolysin-O (25.9%).
Conclusions. The research showed a wide range of knowledge of pediatricians about the diagnosis and management of group A β-hemolytic Streptococcus pharyngitis — from satisfactory responses to the prescription of antibiotic therapy to low knowledge about the diagnosis and determination of strategies in healthy carriers. These data emphasize the need to improve knowledge about the strategies of group group A β-hemolytic Streptococcus pharingytis control.
The research was carried out in accordance with the principles of the Helsinki Declaration. The study protocol was approved by the Local Ethics Committee of all participating institution. The informed consent of the patient was obtained for conducting the studies.
No conflict of interest was declared by the authors.
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