Antimicrobial resistance is a growing crisis in healthcare. Various antimicrobial stewardship strategies have been used to control antibiotic use in efforts to reduce antibiotic resistance. We conducted a systematic review of antimicrobial stewardship programs in pediatric settings. Twenty-eight published studies met inclusion criteria. The majority (21 of 28) of studies had positive outcomes, but only 6 measured the impact of interventions on antimicrobial resistance. Prescriber education for a specific diagnosis (eg, otitis media) was the most effective intervention in the outpatient setting. Ancillary laboratory tests (eg, rapid diagnostic assays for viral pathogens) were most effective in the inpatient setting. Most studies had moderate to high risk of bias, mainly because of selection bias, inadequate preintervention data for time series analysis, and contamination between treatment groups. To date, there are a limited number of studies assessing antimicrobial stewardship in pediatric settings and these have heterogeneous study designs. Thus, it is difficult to determine the most effective interventions. Future studies should be designed to overcome the biases encountered in current publications.
From the *Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases; †Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Antimicrobial Resistance; ‡Mailman School of Public Health; §School of Nursing; ‖Department of Pharmacy, New York-Presbyterian Hospital; ¶Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases; and #Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY.
Accepted for publication March 8, 2007.
Address for correspondence: Sameer J. Patel, MD, 622 W. 168th Street, PH4W-465A, New York, NY 10032. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.