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author:("grimsby, Kate")
1.  Validating the prediction of lower urinary tract infection in primary care: sensitivity and specificity of urinary dipsticks and clinical scores in women 
Background
Dipsticks are one of the most commonly used near-patient tests in primary care, but few clinical or dipstick algorithms have been rigorously developed.
Aim
To confirm whether previously documented clinical and dipstick variables and algorithms predict laboratory diagnosis of urinary tract infection (UTI).
Design of study
Validation study.
Setting
Primary care.
Method
A total of 434 adult females with suspected lower UTI had bacteriuria assessed using the European Urinalysis Guidelines.
Results
Sixty-six per cent of patients had confirmed UTI. The predictive values of nitrite, leucocyte esterase (+ or greater), and blood (haemolysed trace or greater) were confirmed (independent multivariate odds ratios = 5.6, 3.5, and 2.1 respectively). The previously developed dipstick rule — based on presence of nitrite, or both leucocytes and blood — was moderately sensitive (75%) but less specific (66%; positive predictive value [PPV] 81%, negative predictive value [NPV] 57%). Predictive values were improved by varying the cut-off point: NPV was 76% for all three dipstick results being negative; the PPV was 92% for having nitrite and either blood or leucocyte esterase. Urine offensive smell was not found to be predictive in this sample; for a clinical score using the remaining three predictive clinical features (urine cloudiness, dysuria, and nocturia), NPV was 67% for none of the features, and PPV was 82% for three features.
Conclusion
A clinical score is of limited value in increasing diagnostic precision. Dipstick results can modestly improve diagnostic precision but poorly rule out infection. Clinicians need strategies to take account of poor NPVs.
doi:10.3399/bjgp10X514747
PMCID: PMC2894378  PMID: 20594439
algorithms, clinical scoring; diagnosis, urinary tract infection; primary care; urinalysis
2.  Effect of antibiotic prescribing strategies and an information leaflet on longer-term reconsultation for acute lower respiratory tract infection 
Background
Limited evidence suggests that delayed prescribing may influence future consultation behaviour.
Aim
To assess the effects of antibiotic prescribing strategy on reconsultation in the year following presentation with acute lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI).
Design of study
Balanced factorial randomised trial.
Setting
Primary care.
Method
Eight hundred and seven subjects, aged ≥3 years, had acute illness presenting with cough as the main symptom, plus at least one symptom or sign from sputum, chest pain, dyspnoea or wheeze. The subjects were randomised to one of three prescribing strategies (antibiotics, delayed antibiotic, no antibiotic) and a leaflet. Prior antibiotic use and reconsultation were assessed by medical record review.
Results
Patients who had been prescribed antibiotic for cough in the previous 2 years were much more likely to reconsult (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 2.55, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.62 to 4.01) and use of a delayed prescription strategy is associated with reduced reconsultation in this group. In those with prior antibiotic exposure, there was a 34% reduction in consultation rate in the no antibiotic group (IRR = 0.66, 0.30 to 1.44, P = 0.295) and a 78% reduction for the delayed antibiotic group (IRR = 0.22, 0.10 to 0.49, P<0.001) when compared with those given immediate antibiotics. This effect was not observed in patients who had not been prescribed antibiotics in the previous 2 years; there was no reduction in consultations in the no antibiotic group (IRR = 1.23, 0.79 to 1.92, P = 0.358) or the delayed antibiotic group (1.19, 0.78 to 1.80, P = 0.426). There was an increase in consultation rate with an information leaflet (IRR = 1.27, 0.86 to 1.87, P = 0.229). Past attendance with cough, or past attendance with other respiratory illness and smoking, also predicted reconsultation with cough.
Conclusion
Delayed antibiotic prescribing for LRTI appears effective in modifying reconsultation behaviour, particularly in those with a prior history of antibiotic prescription for LRTI.
doi:10.3399/bjgp09X472601
PMCID: PMC2751917  PMID: 19843421
anti-bacterial agents; primary health care; referral and consultation; respiratory tract infections
3.  Cost effectiveness of management strategies for urinary tract infections: results from randomised controlled trial 
Objective To assess the cost effectiveness of different management strategies for urinary tract infections.
Design Cost effectiveness analysis alongside a randomised controlled trial with a one month follow-up.
Setting Primary care.
Participants 309 non-pregnant adult women aged 18-70 presenting with suspected urinary tract infection.
Interventions Patients were randomised to five basic management approaches: empirical antibiotics, empirical delayed (by 48 hours) antibiotics, or targeted antibiotics based on either a high symptom score (two or more of urine cloudiness, smell, nocturia, dysuria), dipstick results (nitrite or leucocytes and blood), or receipt of a positive result on midstream urine analysis.
Main outcome measure Duration of symptoms and cost of care.
Results Management with targeted antibiotics with midstream urine analysis was more costly over the period of one month. Costs for the midstream urine analysis and dipstick management groups were £37 and £35, respectively; these compared with £31 for immediate antibiotics. Cost effectiveness acceptability curves suggested that if avoiding a day of moderately bad symptoms was valued at less than £10, then immediate antibiotics is likely to be the most cost effective strategy. For values over £10, targeted antibiotics with dipstick testing becomes the most cost effective strategy, though because of the uncertainty we can never be more than 70% certain that this strategy truly is the most cost effective.
Conclusion Dipstick testing with targeted antibiotics is likely to be cost effective if the value of saving a day of moderately bad symptoms is £10 or more, but caution is required given the considerable uncertainty surrounding the estimates.
doi:10.1136/bmj.c346
PMCID: PMC2817048  PMID: 20139218
4.  Predicting the duration of symptoms in lower respiratory tract infection 
Background
Acute lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) presenting in primary care has a long natural history. Antibiotic treatment makes little or no difference to the duration of cough. Limited information is currently available regarding predictors of illness duration.
Aim
To determine predictors of illness duration in acute LRTI in primary care.
Design of study
Secondary analysis of trial data to identify independent predictors of illness severity and duration.
Setting
Primary care.
Method
Eight-hundred and seven patients aged 3 years and over with acute illness (21 days or less) presenting with cough as the main symptom plus at least one symptom or sign from sputum, chest pain, dyspnoea, or wheeze were recruited to the study. Main outcomes were duration of symptoms (rated at least a slight problem) and more severe symptoms (rated at least moderately bad).
Results
The average duration of cough (rated at least a slight problem) was 11.7 days and was shorter among children (duration −1.72 days; 95% confidence interval [CI] = −3.02 to −0.41) or in individuals with a history of fever (−1.22 days; 95% CI = −0.18 to 2.27). The duration of cough was longer among those with restricted activities on the day they saw the doctor (+0.69 days for each point of a 7-point scale). The duration of more severe symptoms was longer in those with a longer duration of symptoms prior to consultation, with a more severe cough on the day of seeing the doctor, and restriction of activities on the day of seeing the doctor.
Conclusion
Illness duration may be predicted from a limited number of clinical symptoms and from prior history. These findings should be subjected to validation in a separate population. To minimise expectation about rapid resolution of illness, adults who have restricted activities could be advised that they are likely to experience symptoms for longer.
doi:10.3399/bjgp08X264045
PMCID: PMC2233957  PMID: 18307851
bronchitis; cough; prognosis; respiratory tract infections
5.  Developing clinical rules to predict urinary tract infection in primary care settings: sensitivity and specificity of near patient tests (dipsticks) and clinical scores 
Background
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.
Aim
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.
Setting
General practices in the south of England.
Method
Laboratory diagnosis of 427 women with suspected UTI was assessed using European urinalysis guidelines. Independent clinical and dipstick predictors of diagnosis were estimated.
Results
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.
Conclusions
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.
PMCID: PMC1874525  PMID: 16882379
clinical scoring algorithms; diagnosis, urinary tract infection; dipsticks

Results 1-5 (5)