STIs: emergency prescriptions for adolescents frequently go unfilled

  • Lieberman A & al.
  • JAMA Pediatr
  • 28 May 2019

  • International Clinical Digest
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Takeaway

  • Adolescents receiving prescriptions for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the emergency department (ED) may not fill them.
  • Authors: “it is imperative that novel interventions to improve treatment adherence be explored.”

Why this matters

  • Adolescents account for about half of all new STI diagnoses each year.
  • Whether they reliably fill ED prescriptions for bacterial STIs is unclear.

Key results

  • 57.7% (95% CI, 50.9%-64.5%) of prescriptions were filled.
  • Multivariate analysis found that only hospital admission predicted filling: aOR, 2.25 (95% CI, 1.02-4.99).

Study design

  • Retrospective 2-ED cohort study of adolescents aged 13-19 years with an ED diagnosis of pelvic inflammatory disease or cervicitis/urethritis (696 visits, 208 prescriptions).
  • Outcome: prescription filling of STI-related antimicrobial treatment, based on a health information network that collects data from participating pharmacies and insurance plans.
  • Funding: None disclosed.

Limitations

  • Single-center study.
  • Authors do not discuss whether patients might have accessed pharmacies not participating in the network.
  • A filled prescription might not actually be used.

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