Despite wide distribution and promotion of clinical practice guidelines, adherence among Dutch general practitioners (GPs) is not optimal. To improve adherence to guidelines, an analysis of barriers to implementation is advocated. Because different recommendations within a guideline can have different barriers, in this study we focus on key recommendations rather than guidelines as a whole, and explore the barriers to implementation perceived by Dutch GPs.
A qualitative study using six focus groups was conducted, in which 30 GPs participated, with an average of seven per session. Fifty-six key recommendations were derived from twelve national guidelines. In each focus group, barriers to the implementation of the key recommendations of two clinical practice guidelines were discussed. Focus group discussions were audiotaped and transcribed verbatim. Data was analysed by using an existing framework of barriers.
The barriers varied largely within guidelines, with each key recommendation having a unique pattern of barriers. The most perceived barriers were lack of agreement with the recommendations due to lack of applicability or lack of evidence (68% of key recommendations), environmental factors such as organisational constraints (52%), lack of knowledge regarding the guideline recommendations (46%), and guideline factors such as unclear or ambiguous guideline recommendations (43%).
Our study findings suggest a broad range of barriers. As the barriers largely differ within guidelines, tailored and barrier-driven implementation strategies focusing on key recommendations are needed to improve adherence in practice. In addition, guidelines should be more transparent concerning the underlying evidence and applicability, and further efforts are needed to address complex issues such as comorbidity in guidelines. Finally, it might be useful to include focus groups in continuing medical education as an innovative medium for guideline education and implementation.
Optimal clinical management of childhood urinary tract infections (UTI) potentiates long-term positive health effects. Insight into the quality of care in Dutch family practices for UTIs was limited, particularly regarding observation periods of more than a year. Our aim was to describe the clinical management of young children's UTIs in Dutch primary care and to compare this to the national guideline recommendations.
In this cohort study, all 0 to 6-year-old children with a diagnosed UTI in 2001 were identified within the Netherlands Information Network of General Practitioners (LINH), which comprises 120 practices. From the Dutch guideline on urinary tract infections, seven indicators were derived, on prescription, follow-up, and referral.
Of the 284 children with UTI who could be followed for three years, 183 (64%) were registered to have had one cystitis episode, 52 (18%) had two episodes, and 43 (15%) had three or more episodes. Another six children were registered to have had one or two episodes of acute pyelonephritis. Overall, antibiotics were prescribed for 66% of the children having had ≤ 3 cystitis episodes, two-thirds of whom received the antibiotics of first choice. About 30% of all episodes were followed up in general practice. Thirty-eight children were referred (14%), mostly to a paediatrician (76%). Less than one-third of the children who should have been referred was actually referred.
Treatment of childhood UTIs in Dutch family practice should be improved with respect to prescription, follow-up, and referral. Quality improvement should address the low incidence of urinary tract infections in children in family practice.
Guideline recommendations on therapy in urinary tract infections are based on antibiotic resistance rates. Due to a lack of surveillance data, little is known about resistance rates in uncomplicated urinary tract infection (UTI) in general practice in Germany. In a prospective observational study, urine cultures of all women presenting with urinary tract infections in general practice were analysed. Resistance rates against antibiotics recommended in German guidelines on UTI are presented.
In a prospective, multi-center observational study general practitioner included all female patients ≥ 18 years with clinically suspected urinary tract infection. Only patients receiving an antibiotic therapy within the last two weeks were excluded.
40 practices recruited 191 female patients (mean age 52 years; range 18–96) with urinary tract infections. Main causative agent was Escherichia coli (79%) followed by Enterococcus faecalis (14%) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (7.3%).
Susceptibiliy of E.coli as the main causative agent was highest against fosfomycin and nitrofurantoin, with low resistance rates of 4,5%; 2,2%. In 17,5%, E.coli was resistant to trimethoprim and in 8,5% to ciprofloxacin.
Resistance rates of uropathogens from unselected patients in general practice differ from routinely collected laboratory data. These results can have an impact on antibiotic prescribing and treatment recommendations.
Urinary tract infection; Primary care; Drug resistance; Anti-bacterial agents
BACKGROUND: Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are very common and have been treated with apparent success with antimicrobials for many years. However, there is a paucity of placebo-controlled clinical trials. AIM: To measure the symptomatic and bacteriological short-term effect of nitrofurantoin treatment versus placebo, in the treatment of uncomplicated UTI in adult non-pregnant women. DESIGN OF STUDY: Randomised placebo-controlled trial in general practice. SETTING: Non-pregnant women, aged between 15 and 54 years old, consulting a general practitioner for symtoms suggestive of uncomplicated lower UTI and with pyuria (positive for leucocyte esterase test). METHOD: A dipslide was inoculated in first-void midstream urine and sent for examinion. The patients were randomised to receive nitrofurantoin 100 mg or placebo four times daily for three days. After three, seven, and 14 days a new dipslide was inoculated and symptoms of UTI were checked or improvement of symptoms and bacteriuria. RESULTS: Of 166 women consulting with symptoms suggestive for UTI, 78 had pyuia and agreed to participate in the study (the clinically suspected UTI group); of these, 40 received nitrofurantoin and 38 received placebo. The result for combined symptomatic improvement and cure after three days was 27/35 in the nitrofurantoin group and 19/35 in the placebo group (c2 with Yates' correction P = 0.008; number needed to treat [NNT] = 4.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.3 to 79). After seven days, combined improvement and cure was observed in 30/34 and 17/33 respectively (P = 0.003, NNT = 2.7, 95% CI = 1.8 to 6.0). At inclusion, 56 women had bacteriuria of > or = 10(5) CFU/ml (the bacteriologically proven UTI group). Of these, 29 received nitrofurantoin and 27 received placebo. After three days the bacteriological cure was 21/26 in the treatment group, compared with 5/25 in the placebo group (P < 0.001; NNT = 1.6, 95% CI= 1.2 to 2.6). After seven days the bacteriological cure rate was 17/23 in the intervention group and 9/22 in the placebo group (P = 0.05, NNT = 3, 95% CI = 1.7 to 17). CONCLUSION: In women with bacteriologically proven UTI, nitrofurantoin was significantly more effective than placebo in achieving bacteriological cure and symptomatic relief in just three days; this was still present after seven days. In patients with clinically suspected UTI the symptomatic effect was statistically significant after
Despite considerable efforts to promote and support guideline use, adherence is often suboptimal. Barriers to adherence vary not only across guidelines but also across recommendations within guidelines. The aim of this study was to assess the perceived barriers to guideline adherence among GPs by focusing on key recommendations within guidelines.
We conducted a cross-sectional electronic survey among 703 GPs in the Netherlands. Sixteen key recommendations were derived from four national guidelines. Six statements were included to address the attitudes towards guidelines in general. In addition, GPs were asked to rate their perceived adherence (one statement) and the perceived barriers (fourteen statements) for each of the key recommendations, based on an existing framework.
264 GPs (38%) completed the questionnaire. Although 35% of the GPs reported difficulties in changing routines and habits to follow guidelines, 89% believed that following guidelines leads to improved patient care. Perceived adherence varied between 52 and 95% across recommendations (mean: 77%). The most perceived barriers were related to external factors, in particular patient ability and behaviour (mean: 30%) and patient preferences (mean: 23%). Lack of applicability of recommendations in general (mean: 22%) and more specifically to individual patients (mean: 25%) were also frequently perceived as barriers. The scores on perceived barriers differed largely between recommendations [minimum range 14%; maximum range 67%].
Dutch GPs have a positive attitude towards the NHG guidelines, report high adherence rates and low levels of perceived barriers. However, the perceived adherence and perceived barriers varied largely across recommendations. The most perceived barriers across recommendations are patient related, suggesting that current guidelines do not always adequately incorporate patient preferences, needs and abilities. It may be useful to provide tools such as decision aids, supporting the flexible use of guidelines to individual patients in practice.
Theories of behaviour change indicate that an analysis of factors that facilitate or impede change is helpful when trying to influence professional practice. The aim of this study was to identify barriers to implementing evidence-based guidelines for urinary tract infection and sore throat in general practice in Norway, and to tailor interventions to address these barriers.
We used a checklist to identify barriers and possible interventions to address these in an iterative process that included a review of the literature, brainstorming, focus groups, a pilot study, small group discussions and interviews.
We identified at least one barrier for each category. Both guidelines recommended increased use of telephone consultations and reduced use of laboratory tests, and the barriers and the interventions were similar for the two guidelines. The complexity of changing routines involving patients, general practitioners and general practitioner assistants, loss of income with telephone consultations, fear of overlooking serious disease, perceived patient expectations and lack of knowledge about the evidence for the guidelines were the most prominent barriers. The interventions that were tailored to address these barriers included support for change processes in the practices, increasing the fee for telephone consultations, patient information leaflets and computer-based decision support and reminders.
A systematic approach using qualitative methods helped identify barriers and generate ideas for tailoring interventions to support the implementation of guidelines for the management of urinary tract infections and sore throat. Lack of resources limited our ability to address all of the barriers adequately.
Uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTI) are usually treated with antibiotics as recommended by primary care guidelines. Antibiotic treatment supports clinical cure in individual patients but also leads to emerging resistance rates in the population. We designed a comparative effectiveness study to investigate whether the use of antibiotics for uncomplicated UTI could be reduced by initial treatment with ibuprofen, reserving antibiotic treatment to patients who return due to ongoing or recurrent symptoms.
This is a randomized-controlled, double-blind, double dummy multicentre trial assessing the comparative effectiveness of immediate vs. conditional antibiotic therapy in uncomplicated UTI. Women > 18 and < 65 years, presenting at general practices with at least one of the typical symptoms dysuria or frequency/urgency of micturition, will be screened and enrolled into the trial. During an 18- months recruitment period, a total of 494 patients will have to be recruited in 45 general practices in Lower Saxony. Participating patients receive either immediate antibiotic therapy with fosfomycin-trometamol 1x3g or initial symptomatic treatment with ibuprofen 3x400mg for 3 days. The ibuprofen group will be provided with antibiotic therapy only if needed, i.e. for persistent or worsening symptoms. For a combined primary endpoint, we choose the number of all antibiotic prescriptions regardless of the medical indication day 0–28 and the “disease burden”, defined as a weighted sum of the daily total symptom scores from day 0 to day 7. The study is considered positive if superiority of conditional antibiotic treatment with respect to the first primary endpoint and non-inferiority of conditional antibiotic treatment with respect to the second primary endpoint is proven.
This study aims at investigating whether the use of antibiotics for uncomplicated UTI could be reduced by initial treatment with ibuprofen. The comparative effectiveness design was chosen to prove the effectiveness of two therapeutic strategies instead of the pure drug efficacy.
Urinary tract infection; Comparative effectiveness design; Antibiotic prescription; General practice
BACKGROUND: The use of clinical guidelines in general practice is often limited. Research on barriers to guideline adherence usually focuses on attitudinal factors. Factors linked to the guideline itself are much less studied. AIM: To identify characteristics of effective clinical guidelines for general practice, and to explore whether these differ between therapeutic and diagnostic recommendations. DESIGN OF STUDY: Analysis of performance data from an audit study of 200 general practitioners (GPs) in The Netherlands conducted in 1997. SETTING: Panel of 12 GPs in The Netherlands who were familiar with guideline methodology. METHOD: A set of 12 attributes, including six potential facilitators and six potential barriers to guideline use, was formulated. The panel assessed the presence of these attributes in 96 guideline recommendations formulated by the Dutch College of General Practitioners. The attributes of recommendations with high compliance rates (70% to 100%) were compared with those with low compliance rates (0% to 60%). RESULTS: Recommendations with high compliance rates were to a lesser extent those requiring new skills (7% compared with 22% in recommendations with low compliance rates), were less often part of a complex decision tree (12% versus 25%), were more compatible with existing norms and values in practice (87% versus 76%), and more often supported with evidence (47% versus 31%). For diagnostic recommendations, the ease of applying them and the potential (negative) reactions of patients were more relevant than for therapeutic recommendations. CONCLUSION: To bridge the gap between research and practice, the evidence as well as the applicability should be considered when formulating recommendations. If the recommendations are not compatible with existing norms and values, not easy to follow or require new knowledge and skills, appropriate implementation strategies should be designed to ensure change in daily practice.
Implementation of guidelines in clinical practice is difficult. In 2003, the German College of General Practitioners and Family Physicians (DEGAM) released an evidence-based guideline for the management of low back pain (LBP) in primary care. The objective of this study is to explore the acceptance of guideline content and perceived barriers to implementation.
Seventy-two general practitioners (GPs) participating in quality circles within the framework of an educational intervention study for guideline implementation evaluated the LBP-guideline and its practicability with a standardised questionnaire. In addition, statements of group discussions were recorded using the metaplan technique and were incorporated in the discussion.
Most GPs agree with the guideline content but believe that guideline stipulations are not congruent with patient wishes. Non-adherence to the guideline and contradictory information for patients by other professionals (e.g., GPs, orthopaedic surgeons, physiotherapists) are important barriers to guideline adherence. Almost half of the GPs have no access to recommended multimodal pain programs for patients with chronic LBP.
Promoting adherence to the LBP guideline requires more than enhancing knowledge about evidence-based management of LBP. Public education and an interdisciplinary consensus are important requirements for successful guideline implementation into daily practice. Guideline recommendations need to be adapted to the infrastructure of the health care system.
BMBF Grant Nr. 01EM0113. FORIS (database for research projects in social science) Reg #: 20040116 .
BACKGROUND: Symptoms associated with urinary tract infection (UTI) are common in women in general practice and represent a significant burden for the National Health Service. There is considerable variation among general practitioners in the management of patients presenting with these symptoms. AIM: To identify the most appropriate patient management strategy given current information for non-pregnant, adult women presenting in general practice with symptoms of uncomplicated UTI. METHOD: A decision analytic model incorporating a variety of patient management strategies was constructed using available published information and expert opinion. This model was able to provide guidance on current best practice based upon cost-effectiveness (cost per symptom-free day). RESULTS: Empiric treatment was found to be the least costly strategy available. It saved two days of symptoms per episode of UTI at a cost of 14 Pounds. The empiric-and-laboratory strategy involves an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of 215 Pounds per symptom day averted per episode of UTI. The remaining patient management strategies are never optimal. CONCLUSION: Empiric treatment of patients presenting with symptoms of UTI was found to be cost-effective under a range of assumptions for this patient group. However, recognition of the impact of this strategy upon antibiotic resistance may lead to the dipstick strategy being considered a superior strategy overall.
The aim of this study was to establish current practices amongst general practitioners in the West of Ireland with regard to the investigation, diagnosis and management of urinary tract infection (UTI) in children and to evaluate these practices against recently published guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
A postal survey was performed using a questionnaire that included short clinical scenarios. All general practices in a single health region were sent a questionnaire, cover letter and SAE. Systematic postal and telephone contact was made with non-responders. The data was analysed using SPSS version 15.
Sixty-nine general practitioners were included in the study and 50 (72%) responded to the questionnaire. All respondents agreed that it is important to consider diagnosis of UTI in all children with unexplained fever. Doctors accurately identified relevant risk factors for UTI in the majority (87%) of cases. In collecting urine samples from a one year old child, 80% of respondents recommended the use of a urine collection bag and the remaining 20% recommended collection of a clean catch sample. Respondents differed greatly in their practice with regard to detailed investigation and specialist referral after a first episode of UTI. Co-amoxiclav was the most frequently used antibiotic for the treatment of cystitis, with most doctors prescribing a five day course.
In general, this study reveals a high level of clinical knowledge amongst doctors treating children with UTI in primary care in the catchment area of County Mayo. However, it also demonstrates wide variation in practice with regard to detailed investigation and specialist referral. The common practice of prescribing long courses of antibiotics when treating lower urinary tract infection is at variance with NICE's recommendation of a three day course of antibiotics for cystitis in children over three months of age when there are no atypical features.
Despite efforts to disseminate guidelines for managing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), adherence to COPD guidelines remains suboptimal. Barriers to adhering to guidelines remain poorly understood.
Clinicians from two general medicine practices in New York City were surveyed to identify barriers to implementing seven recommendations from the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD) guidelines. Barriers assessed included unfamiliarity, disagreement, low perceived benefit, low self-efficacy, and time constraints. Exact conditional regression was used to identify barriers independently associated with non-adherence.
The survey was completed by 154 clinicians. Adherence was lowest to referring patients with a forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) <80% predicted to pulmonary rehabilitation (5%); using FEV1 to guide management (12%); and ordering pulmonary function tests (PFTs) in smokers (17%). Adherence was intermediate to prescribing inhaled corticosteroids when FEV1 <50% predicted (41%) and long-acting bronchodilators when FEV1 <80% predicted (54%). Adherence was highest for influenza vaccination (90%) and smoking cessation counseling (91%). In unadjusted analyses, low familiarity with the guidelines, low self-efficacy, and time constraints were significantly associated with non-adherence to ≥2 recommendations. In adjusted analyses, low self-efficacy was associated with less adherence to prescribing inhaled corticosteroids (OR: 0.28; 95% CI: 0.10, 0.74) and time constraints were associated with less adherence to ordering PFTs in smokers (OR: 0.31; 95% CI: 0.08, 0.99).
Poor familiarity with recommendations, low self-efficacy, and time constraints are important barriers to adherence to COPD guidelines. This information can be used to develop tailored interventions to improve guideline adherence.
COPD; guidelines; adherence; primary care
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is among the most commonly diagnosed bacterial infections of childhood. Although frequently encountered and well researched, diagnosis and management of UTI continue to be a controversial issue with many challenges for the clinician. Prevalence studies have shown that UTI may often be missed on history and physical examination, and the decision to screen for UTI must balance the risk for missed infections with the cost and inconvenience of testing. Interpretation of rapid diagnostic tests and culture is complicated by issues of contamination, false test results, and asymptomatic colonization of the urinary tract with nonpathogenic bacteria. The appropriate treatment of UTI has been controversial and has become more complex with the emergence of resistance to commonly used antibiotics. Finally, the anatomic evaluation and long-term management of a child after a UTI have been based on limited evidence, and newer studies question some of the tenets of prior recommendations. The goal of this review is to provide an up-to-date summary of the literature with particular attention to practical questions about diagnosis and management for the clinician.
Aims: To determine: (1) whether children diagnosed with a urinary tract infection (UTI) visited their general practitioner (GP) more frequently before the diagnosis of UTI was established compared to children never diagnosed with a UTI; and (2) whether those children with evidence of renal scarring at their first diagnosed UTI visited their GPs more frequently before diagnosis compared to children who did not have evidence of renal scarring when their first UTI was investigated.
Methods: Case-control study of 77 children with a UTI identified from a hospital radiology database (37 with and 40 without renal scarring), and 77 age, sex, and general practice matched controls. Main outcome measures were entries in general practice clinical records for types of illness, antibiotic prescriptions, and urine samples requested prior to the diagnosis of first UTI (cases) or equivalent time periods for controls.
Results: Cases had a mean 2.94 additional visits or 21% more visits (95% CI 1% to 41%) in the period (mean 2.4 years) prior to the visit at which their first UTI was diagnosed, including a mean 2.5 additional visits or 23% more visits for infectious illness (95% CI 1% to 45%). The cases had 114% (95% CI 41% to 184%) more visits for symptoms relating to the genitourinary tract, though the actual number of these visits was small. They were febrile at 49% more visits (95% CI 1% to 99%) and received significantly more courses of antibiotics than controls (5.2 v 4.1). They had more urine samples requested (37 v 3). Both the cases with and without renal scarring had similar excess GP visits.
Conclusion: Compared to controls, children diagnosed with a first UTI had more visits at which symptoms of infection were recorded and more antibiotics prescribed prior to the visit at which the first UTI was diagnosed. These excess visits may have included undiagnosed UTIs. Both those with and without renal scarring had a similar degree of excess visits; additional aetiological factors must have played a role in scar formation.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are symptomatic infections of the urinary tract, mainly caused by the bacterium Escherichia coli. One in two women suffers from a UTI at least once in her life. The young and sexually active are particulaly affected, but it is also seen in elderly, postmenopausal women. The likelihood of recurrence is high. Diagnosis is made with regard to typical complaints and the presence of leucocytes and nitrites in the urine. A culture is unnecessary in most cases. Uncomplicated UTI should be distinguished from complicated UTI, which has a risk of severe illness. The treatment of choice--short-term therapy with trimethoprim or nitrofurantoin--is successful in over 80% of the cases. Co-trimoxazol fluoroquinolones or cephalsporins are not considered first-choice drugs. There are indications that general practitioners' (GPs') management of UTI is not always optimal, specifically concerning diagnostic tests, the application of second-choice antibiotics, and the length of prescribed treatment courses. Many points relevant to GPs requirefurther research, such as epidemiology and resistance of urinary pathogens in the community and natural history of UTI, as well as optimal management in elderly or complicated patients and men.
Objectives: A clinical practice guideline (CPG) contains specifically developed recommendations that can serve physicians as a decision aid in evidence-based practice. The implementation of heart failure (HF) CPGs represents a challenge in general practice. As part of the development of a tailored curriculum, aim of this study was to identify barriers of guideline adherence and needs for medical education (CME) in HF care.
Methods: We conducted a modified focus group with elements of a workshop of three hours duration. Thirteen GPs collected and discussed together and parallel in smaller groups barriers of guideline implementation. Afterwards they performed a needs assessment for a tailored CME curriculum for chronic HF. The content of the discussions was analysed qualitatively according to Mayring and categorised thematically.
Results: Barriers of guideline adherence were found in the following areas: doctor: procedural knowledge (knowledge gaps), communicative and organisational skills (e.g. time management) and attitude (dissatisfaction with time-money-relation). Patients: individual case-related problems (multimorbidity, psychiatric comorbidity, expectations and beliefs). Doctor and patient: Adherence and barriers of communication. Main measures for improvement of care concerned the areas of the identified barriers of guideline adherence with the focus on application-oriented training of the abovementioned procedural knowledge and skills, but also the supply of tools (like patient information leaflets) and patient education.
Conclusion: For a CME-curriculum for HF tailored to the needs of GPs, a comprehensive educational approach seems necessary. It should be broad-based and include elements of knowledge and skills to be addressed and trained case-related. Additional elements should include support in the implementation of organisational processes in the practice and patient education.
heart failure; family practice; clinical practice guidelines; qualitative research; continuing medical education
Objectives. To improve education and information for general practitioners in relation to rational antibiotic prescribing for urinary tract infection (UTI), it is important to be aware of GPs’ views of resistance and how it influences their choice of UTI treatment. The aim of this study was to explore variations in views of resistance and UTI treatment decisions among general practitioners (GPs) in a county in Sweden. Design. Qualitative, semi-structured interviews were analysed with a phenomenographic approach and content analysis. Setting. Primary care in Kronoberg, a county in southern Sweden. Subjects. A purposeful sample of 20 GPs from 15 of 25 health centres in the county. Main outcome measures. The variation of perceptions of antibiotic resistance in UTI treatment. How UTIs were treated according to the GPs. Results. Three different ways of viewing resistance in UTI treatment were identified. These were: (A) No problem, I have never seen resistance, (B) The problem is bigger somewhere else, and (C) The development of antibiotic resistance is serious and we must be careful. Moreover, GPs’ perceptions of antibiotic resistance were mirrored in how they reported their treatment of UTIs in practice. Conclusion. There was a hierarchal scale of how GPs viewed resistance as an issue in UTI treatment. Only GPs who expressed concerns about resistance followed prescribing guidelines completely. This offers valuable insights into the planning and most likely the outcome of awareness or educational activities aimed at changed antibiotic prescribing behaviour.
Antibiotics; bacterial resistance; general practice; general practitioners; interviews; urinary tract infection; Sweden; views
Urinary tract infections (UTI) are common among the female population. It has been calculated that about one-third of adult women have experienced an episode of symptomatic cystitis at least once. It is also common for these episodes to recur. If predisposing factors are not identified and removed, UTI can lead to more serious consequences, in particular kidney damage and renal failure. The aim of this review was to analyze the factors more commonly correlated with UTI in women, and to see what possible solutions are currently used in general practice and specialized areas, as well as those still under investigation. A good understanding of the possible pathogenic factors contributing to the development of UTI and its recurrence will help the general practitioner to interview the patient, search for causes that would otherwise remain undiscovered, and to identify the correct therapeutic strategy.
urinary tract infection; women; etiology; diagnosis; treatment
OBJECTIVE: To provide an effective approach for family physicians treating children presenting with urinary tract infections (UTIs). QUALITY OF EVIDENCE: The information presented, and articles quoted, are drawn from both review of the literature and recent consensus guidelines. Data and recommendations come from prospective multicentre trials; retrospective reviews; expert consensus statements; and some smaller trials, commentaries, and editorials. MAIN MESSAGE: Urinary tract infections are often seen in family practice. Diagnosis requires suspicion and a realization that children, especially those younger than 2 years, often have very few, nonspecific signs of infection. Obtaining a proper urine sample is vital, because true infections require radiographic studies. Antibiotic prophylaxis is promoted because of the link between vesicoureteral reflux, recurrent UTIs, and renal scarring and hypertension. We generally provide prophylaxis until children are 3 or 4 years, when risk of damage from reflux is lessened and timely urine samples are easier to obtain for prompt therapy. Surgical opinion is sought only when medical management has failed. Failure is defined as either recurrent infections and pyelonephritis or poor renal growth. CONCLUSION: To diagnose UTIs in children, physicians must suspect them, obtain proper urine samples, order appropriate investigations to rule out underlying anatomic abnormalities, and treat with appropriate antibiotics considering both organism sensitivities and length of therapy.
Purpose of review
Many children with urinary tract infection (UTI) and urinary tract abnormality such as vesicoureteral reflux (VUR) are given prophylactic antibiotic to prevent recurrence of UTI and permanent kidney damage. Occasionally, children with normal urinary tract receive prophylactic antibiotic to alleviate the patient suffering and family inconvenience associated with recurrent symptomatic UTI. These recommendations are mostly opinion based and are derived from studies that were not randomized and were done before the current renal imaging modalities became available. The purpose of this review is to discuss these recommendations in the context of recent research findings.
Recent studies have raised serious doubts about the role of antibiotic prophylaxis after UTI by demonstrating the presence of preexisting renal scars without UTI in some patients, systematic reviews of published literature on UTI and VUR, and by comparing randomized patients with VUR who received antibiotic prophylaxis with those who did not receive any prophylaxis. However, the new knowledge has also highlighted that, apart from skilful management of individual patients, well designed studies are needed to answer the questions on antibiotic prophylaxis across the spectrum of UTI in different clinical situations. One such study currently underway is the Randomized Intervention for Children With Vesicoureteral Reflux study, which will evaluate the role of antibiotic prophylaxis in preventing recurrent UTI and renal scarring in young children with VUR.
It is advisable that until the results of more appropriately designed studies become available, UTI in young children is considered as a risk factor for renal scarring and each patient is treated with prudence.
prophylactic antibiotic; urinary tract infection; vesicoureteral reflux
Suspected urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common presentations in primary care. Systematic reviews have not documented any adequately powered studies in primary care that assess independent predictors of laboratory diagnosis.
To estimate independent clinical and dipstick predictors of infection and to develop clinical decision rules.
Design of study
Validation study of clinical and dipstick findings compared with laboratory testing.
General practices in the south of England.
Laboratory diagnosis of 427 women with suspected UTI was assessed using European urinalysis guidelines. Independent clinical and dipstick predictors of diagnosis were estimated.
UTI was confirmed in 62.5% of women with suspected UTI. Only nitrite, leucocyte esterase (+ or greater), and blood (haemolysed trace or greater) independently predicted diagnosis (adjusted odds ratios 6.36, 4.52, 2.23 respectively). A dipstick decision rule, based on having nitrite, or both leucocytes and blood, was moderately sensitive (77%) and specific (70%); positive predictive value (PPV) was 81% and negative predictive value (NPV) was 65%. Predictive values were improved by varying the cut-off point: NPV was 73% for all three dipstick results being negative, and PPV was 92% for having nitrite and either blood or leucocyte esterase. A clinical decision rule, based on having two of the following: urine cloudiness, offensive smell, and dysuria and/or nocturia of moderate severity, was less sensitive (65%) (specificity 69%; PPV 77%, NPV 54%). NPV was 71% for none of the four clinical features, and the PPV was 84% for three or more features.
Simple decision rules could improve targeting of investigation and treatment. Strategies to use such rules need to take into account limited negative predictive value, which is lower than expected from previous research.
clinical scoring algorithms; diagnosis, urinary tract infection; dipsticks
General practitioners often diverge from clinical guidelines regarding spine radiography. This study aimed to identify and describe A) factors general practitioners consider may affect their decisions about ordering plain radiography for back pain and B) barriers to guideline adherence suggested by such factors.
Focus group interviews regarding factors affecting ordering decisions were carried out on a diverse sample of Norwegian general practitioners and were analysed qualitatively. Results of this study and two qualitative studies from the Netherlands and USA on use of spine radiography were interpreted for barriers to guideline adherence. These were compared with an existing barrier classification system described by Dr Cabana's group.
The factors which Norwegian general practitioners considered might affect their decisions about ordering plain radiography for back pain concerned the following broader issues: clinical ordering criteria, patients' wishes for radiography and the general practitioner's response, uncertainty, professional dignity, access to radiology services, perception of whether the patient really was ill, sense of pressure from other health care providers/social security, and expectations about the consequences of ordering radiography. The three studies suggested several attitude-related and external barriers as classified in a previously reported system described by Dr Cabana in another study. Identified barriers not listed in this system were: lack of expectancy that guideline adherence will lead to desired health care process, emotional difficulty with adherence, improper access to actual/alternative health care services, and pressure from health care providers/organisations.
Our findings may help implement spine radiography guidelines. They also indicate that Cabana et al.'s barrier classification system needs extending. A revised system is proposed.
To investigate current clinical practice in the treatment of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) in SCI centers where German is spoken and to compare it with current guidelines and evidence-based standards evaluated by a literature review.
A standardized questionnaire was mailed to 16 SCI rehabilitation centers. The results were compared with a literature review
Of the 16 centers, 13 responded. Indications for UTI treatment, medications, and treatment duration differed substantially among the individual centers and from the existing guidelines. Antibiotic treatment is regarded as the method of choice. Compared with the existing literature, patients in two center were undertreated, whereas they were overtreated in seven centers.
Even in specialized centers, treatment of UTI in patients with SCI is based more on personal experience of the treating physicians than on published evidence. This may at least partly be due to the paucity of evidence-based data. The observed tendency toward overtreatment with antibiotics carries substantial future risks, as this strategy may well lead to the induction of multiresistant bacterial strains. Therefore, developing guidelines would be an important step toward a unification of the different treatment strategies, thus reducing unnecessary antibiotic treatment. Furthermore, evidence-based studies evaluating the success of antibiotic treatment as well as the usefulness of alternative strategies are urgently needed.
Urinary tract infection; Spinal cord injuries; Evidence-based medicine; Clinical guidelines; Antibiotic therapy; Neurogenic bladder; Cephalosporins; Fluoroquinolones; Cotrimoxazole; Homeopathy
Guidelines recommend obtaining a renal ultrasonogram (RUS) for young children after a first urinary tract infection (UTI).
The aim of the current study was to assess the concordance of prenatal and post‐UTI RUS findings in children with a first simple UTI.
This was a prospective study and included all children aged 5 years or younger who were hospitalised with a first simple UTI (determined as clinical response and normalisation of temperature within 48 h on initiation of antibacterial therapy with no complications). Data were collected from each child regarding the results of prenatal and post‐UTI RUS.
Overall, 250 children were included in the study and the results of late‐pregnancy and post‐UTI RUS were available for 84% (n = 209). Complete concordance between the two RUS was demonstrated in 96% (n = 201). The predictive value of normal antenatal to normal post‐UTI RUS was 96% (95% CI: 93% to 99%). These results include four children with mild transient pelvic dilatation. In eight children in whom renal anomalies were demonstrated only in post‐UTI RUS, the influence of these anomalies on the children's management was negligible.
Prenatal‐RUS have been performed in most children <5 years old hospitalised with a first simple UTI. Concordance with post‐infection tests is very high. Findings which appear only in post‐infectious RUS usually have negligible effects on children's management. Thus, in such children with normal antenatal RUS omitting post‐UTI RUS could be considered.
renal ultrasonogram; urinary tract infection; child; pregnancy; vesicourethral reflux
To assess the effectiveness of tailored interventions to implement guidelines for urinary tract infections in women and sore throat.
Unblinded, cluster randomised pretest-post-test trial.
142 general practices in Norway.
72 practices received interventions to implement guidelines for urinary tract infection and 70 practices received interventions to implement guidelines for sore throat, serving as controls for each other. 59 practices in the urinary tract infection group and 61 practices in the sore throat group completed the study. Outcomes were measured in 16 939 consultations for sore throat and 9887 consultations for urinary tract infection.
Interventions were developed to overcome identified barriers to implementing the guidelines. The main components of the tailored interventions were patient educational material, computer based decision support and reminders, an increase in the fee for telephone consultations, and interactive courses for general practitioners and practice assistants.
Main outcome measures
Changes in rates of use of antibiotics, laboratory tests, and telephone consultations.
Patients in the sore throat group were 3% less likely to receive antibiotics after the intervention. Women with symptoms of urinary tract infection in the intervention group were 5.1% less likely to have a laboratory test ordered. No significant differences were found between the groups for the other outcomes. Large variation was found across the included practices in the rates of antibiotic prescription, use of laboratory tests and telephone consultations, and in the extent of change for all three outcome measures.
Passively delivered, complex interventions targeted at identified barriers to change had little effect in changing practice.
What is already known on this topicInterventions to change professional practice have small to moderate effects at bestMultifaceted interventions targeted at identified barriers to change are more likely to be effective for implementing guidelines than a simple intervention selected by chanceWhat this study addsLarge variation exists in the extent of change before and after the delivery of tailored interventions to support implementing guidelinesRigorous methods are needed to evaluate interventions to change practiceWith passively delivered, complex interventions targeted at identified barriers there was only a 3% decrease in antibiotic prescribing for sore throat and a 5% decrease in test use for urinary tract infection in women