Evaluating antibiotic use and developing a tool to optimize prescribing in a family-centered HIV clinic in Eswatini

Academic Article


  • In a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) clinic for children and their families in Eswatini, we sought to understand the use of antibiotics and identify specific areas for improvement. We performed a retrospective patient chart review as part of a quality improvement (QI) initiative to assess antimicrobial use before and after implementation of a standardized antimicrobial guide. For each prescribing period, 100 random patient encounters were selected for review if the indication for antibiotics, duration, and dose were consistent with World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines. Two physicians reviewed each encounter using a structured abstraction tool, with a third resolving discrepancies. Results were analyzed using a chi-square test of proportions and a structured survey was performed to assess perceptions of the guide. After the implementation of an antimicrobial guide, there was a significant decrease in the proportion of clinic visits with an antibiotic prescribed (p < 0.001). Incorrect indication for antimicrobial use decreased from 20.4% in the initial period to 10.31% and 10.2% but did not reach significance (p = .0621) in the subsequent periods after implementation. Incorrect dose/duration decreased from 10.47% in the initial period to 7.37% and 3.1% in the subsequent periods, but this was also was not significant (p = 0.139). All prescribers who completed the survey felt that it positively impacted their prescribing. Our study found that an antimicrobial guide reduced and improved the prescription of antimicrobials, demonstrating practical solutions can have a lasting impact on prescribing in low resource settings.
  • Published In

  • PLoS One  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ness TE; Streatfield AE; Simelane T; Korsa A; Dlamini S; Guffey D; Lukhele B; Kay AW
  • Volume

  • 16
  • Issue

  • 1 January