The impact of C-reactive protein testing on treatmentseeking behavior and patients’ attitudes toward their care in Myanmar and Thailand
Greer RC., Althaus T., Dittrich S., Butler CC., Cheah PY., Wangrangsimakul T., Smithuis FM., Day NPJ., Lubell Y.
C-reactive protein (CRP) point-of-care testing can reduce antibiotic prescribing in primary care patients with febrile and respiratory illness, yet little is known about its effects on treatment-seeking behavior. If patients go on to source antibiotics elsewhere, the impact of CRP testing will be limited. A randomized controlled trial assessed the impact of CRP testing on antibiotic prescriptions in Myanmar and Thai primary care patients with a febrile illness. Here we report patients’ treatmentseeking behavior before and during the twoweek study period. Self-reported antibiotic use is compared against urine antibacterial activity. Patients’ opinions towards CRP testing were evaluated. Antibiotic use before study enrolment was reported by 5.4% while antimicrobial activity was detected in 20.8% of samples tested. During the study period, 14.8% of the patients sought additional healthcare, and 4.3% sourced their own antibiotics. Neither were affected by CRP testing. Overall, patients’ satisfaction with their care and CRP testing was high. CRP testing did not affect patients’ treatment-seeking behavior during the study period whilst modestly reducing antibiotic prescriptions. CRP testing appears to be acceptable to patients and their caregivers.