Original Article

Does Patient Demand Affect the Physicians’ Decision to Prescribe Antibiotics in Emergency Departments? A Survey Study


  • Gulsah Cikrikci Isik
  • Evren Ekingen

Received Date: 05.01.2018 Accepted Date: 16.02.2018 Eurasian J Emerg Med 2018;17(4):171-177


Antibiotic resistance is a growing public health problem, and one of the important reasons for this is an inappropriate prescription of antibiotics. The aim of this study was to evaluate the knowledge and perceptions related to antibiotic prescription among physicians in the emergency department (ED) and also to find out if the patient demand affects the physicians’ decision to prescribe antibiotics.

Materials and Methods:

A cross-sectional survey of physicians working at ED. The study was conducted during 2017 with an online questionnaire, and results were analyzed by Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS).


Out of 282 relevant questionnaires, in 62.1% of them, the participants think that inappropriate antibiotic prescription was frequent, and some even mentioned that they sometimes (39%) prescribed antibiotics inappropriately. The awareness of antibiotic stewardship was poor in half of the participants. More than two-thirds of the physicians noted that patients had been forcing them to prescribe antibiotics; and physicians who were newer at the profession (<5 years) noted that this was affecting their decision more often (31.5%). Among other factors, need for making quick decisions at ED and overcrowding of the ED leading to inappropriate antibiotic prescription, and there was no relationship between the responses and professional seniority (p=0.7 and p=0.1, respectively), but there was an inverse relation between clinical practice and overcrowding (p=0.01).


Our study demonstrated that all physicians thought antibiotics had been prescribed inappropriately. Patient demand, need for making quick decisions, and overcrowding of EDs are some of the factors that affect the antibiotic prescription decisions of physicians, and the effect of these factors was inversely proportional to increased clinical practice.

Keywords: Antibiotic, inappropriate, demand, overcrowding