Potentially inappropriate treatment of urinary tract infections in two Rhode Island nursing homes

Arch Intern Med. 2011 Mar 14;171(5):438-43. doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2011.13.


Background: The aim of this study was to determine the appropriateness of antibiotic initiation, selection, and duration of therapy among patients in nursing homes with results of a urinalysis showing urinary tract infection.

Methods: A retrospective chart review was conducted on patients of 2 nursing homes during a 6-month period (June 1-November 30, 2008). If a urinalysis had been ordered, the case was evaluated for the appropriateness of antibiotic initiation based on the McGeer criteria. For patients receiving antibiotics, the appropriateness of the initial selection, dosing schedule, and duration of treatment were assessed using patient-specific information and Infectious Diseases Society of American criteria. Patients' records were also reviewed for information on the development of Clostridium difficile colitis.

Results: A total of 519 records were reviewed for documentation of a urinalysis; 132 patients, with a total of 172 case patients (ie, urinalysis showing infection) met inclusion criteria. Antibiotic treatment was initiated in 96 of the 172 case patients (56%); 146 case patients (85%) did not meet the McGeer criteria, yet antibiotic treatment was initiated in 70 of these (41%). Furthermore, 69 case patients (72%) received an inappropriate drug based on Infectious Diseases Society of American criteria, 44 case patients (46%) received inappropriate drug dosing based on creatinine clearance, and 64 case patients (67%) received treatment for longer than recommended. Patients who did not meet the McGeer criteria but received antibiotic therapy were 8.5 (95% confidence interval, 1.7-42.2) times more likely to develop C difficile within 3 months of treatment.

Conclusion: Opportunities exist to improve provider practice related to the appropriate treatment of urinary tract infections in the nursing home.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Black People / statistics & numerical data
  • Clostridioides difficile / isolation & purification
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / diagnosis
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nursing Homes*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Rhode Island
  • Urinalysis
  • Urinary Tract Infections / drug therapy*
  • White People / statistics & numerical data


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents