Clin Otolaryngol 2019 01 25;44(1):7-13. Epub 2018 Oct 25.
Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow, UK.
Aim: (a) To report national trends for tonsillectomy, tonsillitis, peritonsillar abscess and deep neck space infection in secondary care. (b) To report national trends in sore throat consultations in primary care. (c) To report national trends in antibiotic prescribing in both primary and secondary care between 2011 and 2015.
Design: Retrospective nationwide cohort study. Data requested from Information Statistics Department (ISD) Scotland for tonsillectomy, tonsillitis admissions, peritonsillar abscess admissions and deep neck space infection (DNSI) admissions in Scotland, between 1993/94 and 2015/16. Data for antibiotic prescriptions in general practice and hospital admissions between 2011 and 2015.
Setting: Scottish ENT departments and GP practices.
Participants: Scottish patients who underwent tonsillectomy or were admitted to hospital with tonsillitis, peritonsillar abscess or deep neck space infection. Scottish patients that attended their GP with tonsillitis.
Results: Tonsillectomy rates between 1993/94 and 2015/16 decreased by 48% (P < 0.001). Over the same time period, there has been a corresponding 136% increase in tonsillitis admission (P < 0.001) and a 167% increase in peritonsillar abscess admissions, (P < 0.001). Between 1996/97 and 2015/16, there was a 500% increase in deep neck space abscesses (P < 0.001).
Conclusion: There has been a significant decrease in tonsillectomy rates over the past two decades. Over the same time period, there has been a significant increase in admissions to secondary care with tonsillitis, peritonsillar abscess and deep neck space infection. These changes have happened in the context of two separate national policies being introduced-Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network (SIGN) guidelines for management of sore throat and the Scottish Reduction in Antibiotic Prescribing.
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