Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2021 Mar 8:AAC.02630-20. doi: 10.1128/AAC.02630-20. Online ahead of print.
Background - The literature shows that the prescription of antibiotics in dental care is often unnecessary or inappropriate. Indicators estimating the appropriateness of antibiotics prescribed by dentists based on routine databases are however not available in the literature. Our objectives were to: (i) design proxy indicators estimating the appropriateness of antibiotics prescribed by dentists; (ii) evaluate their clinimetric properties; and (iii) provide results for these proxy indicators for dentists located in a north-eastern French region.Methods - We selected and adapted proxy indicators from the literature. Using 2019 Regional Health Insurance data, we evaluated the proxy indicators' clinimetric properties (measurability, applicability, and potential room for improvement), their results with performance scores (% of dentists who reached the target value), and the case-mix stability.Results - We included 3,014 general dental practitioners, who prescribed a total of 373,975 antibiotics to 308,123 patients in 2019. We identified four proxy indicators estimating antibiotic prescribing appropriateness in dental care. All proxy indicators had good clinimetric properties. Performance scores were generally low (10.5 to 73.0%, depending on the indicator), suggesting an important room for improvement. These results showed large variations between dentists (large interquartile ranges) and according to the patients' characteristics (case-mix stability).Conclusion - These four proxy indicators might be used to guide antibiotic stewardship interventions in dental care.