When talking is as good as testing...

CRP can help GPs to differentiate pneumonia from acute bronchitis, and initially CRP testing reduced antibiotic prescribing. Some 379 patients, one-third of whom had COPD, were followed up for an average of 3.67 years during which they made 1010 visits for respiratory infections.

Whether the patient’s GP had communication skills training or measured CRP made no difference to subsequent consultations. However, antibiotics were given in 30.7% of cases presenting to GPs who tested compared to 35.7% in non-testers.

GPs with enhanced