Infections and antimicrobial use in Australian residential aged care facilities: a comparison between local and international prevalence and practices

Aust Health Rev. 2013 Sep;37(4):529-34. doi: 10.1071/AH12007.


Introduction: In July 2011, 29 residential aged care facilities (RACF) located in the Grampians rural region, Victoria, participated in the Grampians healthcare-associated infection (HAI) and antimicrobial use point prevalence study.

Methods: On a single day, trained infection control consultants collected data using two surveys. The RACF survey enabled collection of information (e.g. occupancy levels) about each RACF and its residents. The resident survey was completed for eligible high-level care residents who presented with signs and symptoms of a HAI and/or were prescribed an antimicrobial. A literature review was undertaken so comparisons could be made against similar studies.

Results: The Grampians prevalence of residents presenting with ≥1 HAI (3.8%) was higher than the pooled prevalence (2.3%) for four international studies (P=0.01). The Grampians prevalence of residents prescribed ≥1 antimicrobial (8.3%) was higher than the pooled prevalence (5.8%) for eight international studies (P=0.009).

Conclusion: The prevalence of the Grampians residents presenting with ≥1 HAI and residents prescribed ≥1 antimicrobial were both observed to be significantly higher than pooled data from similar international studies.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anti-Infective Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cross Infection / drug therapy*
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Homes for the Aged*
  • Humans
  • Internationality*
  • Male
  • Population Surveillance
  • Victoria / epidemiology


  • Anti-Infective Agents