Community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) is a common infectious disease in children. Rational drug use (RDU) is an important approach to reducing the disease burden and mortality rate of CAP in children. There are no monitoring indicators for assessing RDU in children. This study aimed to develop a set of indicators to assess RDU to treat CAP in children in hospitals and clinics using a modified Delphi method.
Initial indicators were generated based on a systematic review of guidelines and studies investigating CAP in children. A 3-round modified Delphi process in the form of an email survey combined with round-table discussion was then carried out, and an analytic hierarchy process (AHP) was applied to determine the weight of each indicator.
A total of 24 and 8 experts were invited to participate in the email survey and round-table discussion, respectively. A consensus was reached after 3 rounds of the Delphi survey. Three first-rank indicators and 23 second-rank indicators were developed, and each indicator was weighted. The first-rank indicators comprised drug choice (45.5%), drug usage and dosage (36.4%), and the duration of drug therapy (18.2%); the second-rank indicators were indicators related to antibiotics (63.6%), antiviral agents (18.2%), traditional Chinese medicines (4.5%), and adjuvant drugs (13.6%). The weight value of drug selection was the highest, followed by the values of drug usage and dosage and the duration of drug therapy.
The developed indicator set constitutes the first set intended to assess RDU to treat CAP in children in hospitals (including community hospitals) and clinics. The indicators were based on drug selection, drug usage and dosage and duration of drug therapy, which are associated with most therapeutic drugs for CAP in children. Monitoring these indicators will guide people towards the promotion of RDU in the absence of drug monitoring indicators for CAP. Furthermore, the indicator set constitutes a methodological reference for the development of other indicator sets.