The regional profile of antibiotic prescriptions in Italian outpatient children

Daniele Piovani, Antonio Clavenna, Massimo Cartabia, Maurizio Bonati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose To evaluate paediatric antibiotic prescription patterns in Italy in an extra-hospital setting at the national, regional, and Local Health Unit (LHU) level. Methods Data sources were regional prescription databases. Eight Italian regions participated in the study providing data for the year 2008, with two exceptions (where the data for 2009 and 2006 were provided instead). A total of 4,828,569 children were included: 58% of the Italian population under 15 years old. Antibiotic prevalence rates, prescription rates and prescriptions distribution by class were evaluated at the regional and LHU levels. The correlation among mean latitude, Human Development Index (HDI), hospitalisation rate, satisfaction index for the National Health Service, number of paediatricians per 1,000 resident children and prevalence rate was evaluated by regions. Results The estimated pooled average prevalence rate was 50.5% (95%CI 45.7-55.3). Between-regions prevalence rates ranged from 42.6% to 62.1% and at the LHU level they ranged from 35.6% to 68.5%. There was a trend indicating that in southern regions antibiotics are more frequently prescribed than in the northern and central regions (Cochrane-Armitage test Z0-187.5 p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)997-1005
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Pharmacology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • Anti-bacterial agents
  • Child
  • Drug utilisation
  • Outpatients
  • Prescription

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Pharmacology


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