Results Summary and Professional Abstract
Related PCORI Dissemination and Implementation Project
Final Research Report
View this project's final research report.
Choosing the Right Antibiotic for a Child's Respiratory Infection
A narrative on this study, which compares the outcomes of treatment with targeted versus broader-spectrum bacteria-killing medications.
Choosing between Antibiotics for Acute Respiratory Tract Infections (ARTIs) in Children
Study Principal Investigator Jeffrey Gerber, MD, PhD, discusses what the findings of his study might suggest for clinicians and families in terms of the benefits and the risks of arrow- or broad-spectrum antibiotics for children with ARTIs.
Evidence for Decisions
Narrow- versus Broad-Spectrum Antibiotics for Common Infections in Children
When bacteria cause an ear, nose, or throat infection in children, a clinician may prescribe narrow- or broad-spectrum antibiotics. A PCORI-funded research study found a greater risk of side effects with broad-spectrum antibiotics, with no difference in symptom resolution between the two types.
Peer review of PCORI-funded research helps make sure the report presents complete, balanced, and useful information about the research. It also confirms that the research has followed PCORI’s Methodology Standards. During peer review, experts who were not members of the research team read a draft report of the research. These experts may include a scientist focused on the research topic, a specialist in research methods, a patient or caregiver, and a healthcare professional. Reviewers do not have conflicts of interest with the study.
The peer reviewers point out where the draft report may need revision. For example, they may suggest ways to improve how the research team analyzed its results or reported its conclusions. Learn more about PCORI’s peer-review process here.
In response to peer review, the PI made changes including
- Adding details about the sensitivity analyses that the author conducted, as these were mentioned in the Methodology Standards checklist but initially not described in the text of the report.
- Addressing reviewer questions about whether the statistically significant difference found on the PedsQL (pediatric quality of life measure) was clinically meaningful. The researchers added cautions about interpreting the results from this measure because the measure was not originally designed to assess child quality of life following acute respiratory infection, and because the small differences between patients treated with narrow- and broad-spectrum antibiotics were unlikely to be clinically meaningful.
- Noting an additional limitation of the study: the analyses did not account for baseline PedsQL measures and any chronic conditions.
- Explaining that the sampling strategies were different for the patient-centered outcomes cohort and the clinician-centered outcomes cohort. This was because the researchers stratified the recruitment of patients for patient-centered outcomes cohort by diagnosis and antibiotic type, and oversampled certain strata to insure adequate numbers to conduct analyses. This was unnecessary for the inclusion of clinicians in the clinician-centered outcomes cohort.
Conflict of Interest Disclosures
View the COI disclosure form.