Patient belief in success of antibiotics linked to appendicitis outcomes

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FRIDAY, October 7, 2022 (HealthDay News) — According to a study published online October 5 in JAMA Surgery.

David R. Flum, MD, of the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues conducted a secondary analysis of the Randomized Clinical Trial Comparing Outcomes of Antibiotic Drugs and Appendectomy (425 participants) to understand how beliefs of patients on treatment success are associated with outcomes.

The researchers report that baseline surveys of people randomly assigned to antibiotic treatment show that 22% of participants had an unsuccessful/uncertain response, 51% had an intermediate response, and 27% had a completely successful response. Those who believed that antibiotics could be completely effective had a lower risk of appendectomy (adjusted risk difference [aRD], relative to the failing/uncertain group, -13.49; 95% confidence interval [CI], -24.57 to -2.40). Comparing those with intermediate beliefs to those with failed/uncertain, the aRD was -5.68 (95% CI, -16.57 to 5.20). Those with intermediate beliefs had a lower risk of persistent signs and symptoms than the failure/uncertain group (aRD, -15.72; 95% CI, -29.71 to -1.72), with results directionally similar for the completely successful group (aRD, -15.14; 95% CI, -30.56 to 0.28).

“Understanding patients’ beliefs about treatment success when making decisions about appendicitis treatment may be important,” the authors write. “The pathways linking beliefs to outcomes and the possibility of modifying beliefs to improve outcomes merit further investigation.”

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