Guideline-Concordant Antiviral Treatment in Children at High Risk for Influenza Complications.

Document Type


Publication Date



DOI: 10.1093/cid/ciac606


BACKGROUND: National guidelines recommend antiviral treatment for children with influenza at high risk for complications regardless of symptom duration. Little is known about concordance of clinical practice with this recommendation.

METHODS: We performed a cross-sectional study of outpatient children (aged 1-18 years) at high risk for complications who were diagnosed with influenza during the 2016-2019 influenza seasons. High-risk status was determined using an existing definition that includes age, comorbidities, and residence in a long-term care facility. The primary outcome was influenza antiviral dispensing within 2 days of influenza diagnosis. We determined patient- and provider-level factors associated with guideline-concordant treatment using multivariable logistic regression.

RESULTS: Of the 274 213 children with influenza at high risk for influenza complications, 159 350 (58.1%) received antiviral treatment. Antiviral treatment was associated with the presence of asthma (aOR, 1.13; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.11-1.16), immunosuppression (aOR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.05-1.16), complex chronic conditions (aOR, 1.04; 95% CI, 1.01-1.07), and index encounter in the urgent care setting (aOR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.26-1.34). Factors associated with decreased odds of antiviral treatment include age 2-5 years compared with 6-17 years (aOR, 0.95; 95% CI, .93-.97), residing in a chronic care facility (aOR, .61; 95% CI, .46-.81), and index encounter in an emergency department (aOR, 0.66; 95% CI, .63-.71).

CONCLUSIONS: Among children with influenza at high risk for complications, 42% did not receive guideline-concordant antiviral treatment. Further study is needed to elucidate barriers to appropriate use of antivirals in this vulnerable population.

Journal Title

Clinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America





First Page


Last Page


MeSH Keywords

Child; Humans; Antiviral Agents; Influenza, Human; Cross-Sectional Studies; Nursing Homes; Ambulatory Care


antiviral; influenza; oseltamivir; pediatrics

Library Record