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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Antibiotics for prolonged wet cough in children

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, July 2018
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (94th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (80th percentile)

Mentioned by

2 news outlets
1 blog
41 tweeters
4 Facebook pages
1 Wikipedia page


20 Dimensions

Readers on

189 Mendeley
Antibiotics for prolonged wet cough in children
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, July 2018
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd004822.pub3
Pubmed ID

Julie M Marchant, Helen L Petsky, Peter S Morris, Anne B Chang


Cough is a frequent symptom presenting to doctors. The most common cause of childhood chronic (greater than fours weeks' duration) wet cough is protracted bacterial bronchitis (PBB) in some settings, although other more serious causes can also present this way. Timely and effective management of chronic wet or productive cough improves quality of life and clinical outcomes. Current international guidelines suggest a course of antibiotics is the first treatment of choice in the absence of signs or symptoms specific to an alternative diagnosis. This review sought to clarify the current evidence to support this recommendation. To determine the efficacy of antibiotics in treating children with prolonged wet cough (excluding children with bronchiectasis or other known underlying respiratory illness) and to assess risk of harm due to adverse events. We undertook an updated search (from 2008 onwards) using the Cochrane Airways Group Specialised Register, Cochrane Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), MEDLINE, Embase, trials registries, review articles and reference lists of relevant articles. The latest searches were performed in September 2017. We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing antibiotics with a placebo or a control group in children with chronic wet cough. We excluded cluster and cross-over trials. We used standard methods as recommended by Cochrane. We reviewed results of searches against predetermined criteria for inclusion. Two independent review authors selected, extracted and assessed the data for inclusion. We contacted authors of eligible studies for further information as needed. We analysed data as 'intention to treat.' We identified three studies as eligible for inclusion in the review. Two were in the previous review and one new study was included. We considered the older studies to be at high or unclear risk of bias whereas we judged the newly included study at low risk of bias. The studies varied in treatment duration (from 7 to 14 days) and the antibiotic used (two studies used amoxicillin/clavulanate acid and one used erythromycin).We included 190 children (171 completed), mean ages ranged from 21 months to six years, in the meta-analyses. Analysis of all three trials (190 children) found that treatment with antibiotics reduced the proportion of children not cured at follow-up (primary outcome measure) (odds ratio (OR) 0.15, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.07 to 0.31, using intention-to -treat analysis), which translated to a number needed to treat for an additional beneficial outcome (NNTB) of 3 (95% CI 2 to 4). We identified no significant heterogeneity (for both fixed-effect and random-effects model the I² statistic was 0%). Two older trials assessed progression of illness, defined by requirement for further antibiotics (125 children), which was significantly lower in the antibiotic group (OR 0.10, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.34; NNTB 4, 95% CI 3 to 5). All three trials (190 children) reported adverse events, which were not significantly increased in the antibiotic group compared to the control group (OR 1.88, 95% CI 0.62 to 5.69). We assessed the quality of evidence GRADE rating as moderate for all outcome measures, except adverse events which we assessed as low quality. Evidence suggests antibiotics are efficacious for the treatment of children with chronic wet cough (greater than four weeks) with an NNTB of three. However, antibiotics have adverse effects and this review reported only uncertainty as to the risk of increased adverse effects when they were used in this setting. The inclusion of a more robust study strengthened the previous Cochrane review and its results.

Twitter Demographics

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 41 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.
Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 189 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 189 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Bachelor 31 16%
Student > Master 23 12%
Student > Ph. D. Student 16 8%
Researcher 13 7%
Professor 12 6%
Other 38 20%
Unknown 56 30%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 59 31%
Nursing and Health Professions 27 14%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 10 5%
Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Science 7 4%
Psychology 5 3%
Other 19 10%
Unknown 62 33%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 43. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 03 December 2019.
All research outputs
of 24,451,685 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 12,921 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 334,097 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 215 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 24,451,685 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 96th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 12,921 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 34.6. This one has done well, scoring higher than 85% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 334,097 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 94% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 215 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done well, scoring higher than 80% of its contemporaries.