Nakahama et al. conducted a survey of awareness among clinicians. The survey was conducted between January and February 2017, with questionnaires distributed to physicians known to the research team and via primary care mailing lists. Physicians who responded were also able to distribute the questionnaire to others in their circle of professional acquaintances. In total, 612 physicians responded to the questionnaire: 40% answered as self-employed physicians and 60% answered as employed physicians. By specialty, the share of internal medicine was the largest at 69%, followed by pediatrics at 16%.
With respect to the administration of antimicrobials for the common cold syndrome, the most frequent response was "0 to less than 10%" at around 60%. As the reason for administering antimicrobials for the common cold syndrome, the most frequent response was "it is difficult to distinguish whether the cause is viral or bacterial" at more than 30%, followed by "patients' requests" at approximately 20%. As for response to patients' requests for antimicrobials, more than half of physicians prescribed antimicrobials when patients insisted on the need for antimicrobials despite patient education.
Gu et al. conducted a survey of awareness among outpatient physicians between October and December 2017, funded by a Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare research grant. Questionnaires were distributed via 10 local medical associations across Japan to 2,416 association members, with valid responses received from 524 respondents (a response rate of 21.7%). In terms of the main medical institutions where respondents practiced, 90.6% provided medical care at clinics and 8.0% at hospitals. Among those practicing at clinics, internal medicine was the most common specialism of those clinics, accounting for 63.2%, followed by pediatrics at 10.1% and otolaryngology at 5.3%.
When asked about the percentage of cases for which, having diagnosed the common cold, they prescribed antimicrobials, the majority of respondents (about 60%) replied “0-20%.” The most commonly prescribed antimicrobials were macrolides at 33.4%, followed by third-generation cephalosporins at 32.2%, penicillins at 20.0%, and new quinolones at 9.8%. The most commonly cited reason for administering antimicrobials was “To prevent aggravation of infection,” accounting for more than 30% of responses, followed by “At the patient’s request,” which accounted for 7.8%.
Almost all respondents reported having consciously considered the proper use of antimicrobials within the last year, although the extent to which they had done so varied (always, quite often, sometimes). About 60% of respondents stated that they thought the proper use of antimicrobials by individual clinicians to be “Highly effective” in curbing antimicrobialresistant bacteria.