Systematic Review of Interventions to Reduce Urinary Tract Infection in Nursing Home Residents

J Hosp Med. 2017 May;12(5):356-368. doi: 10.12788/jhm.2724.


Background: Urinary tract infections (UTIs) in nursing homes are common, costly, and morbid.

Purpose: Systematic literature review of strategies to reduce UTIs in nursing home residents.

Data sources: Ovid MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, CINAHL, Web of Science and Embase through June 22, 2015.

Study selection: Interventional studies with a comparison group reporting at least 1 outcome for: catheter-associated UTI (CAUTI), UTIs not identified as catheter-associated, bacteriuria, or urinary catheter use.

Data extraction: Two authors abstracted study design, participant and intervention details, outcomes, and quality measures.

Data synthesis: Of 5794 records retrieved, 20 records describing 19 interventions were included: 8 randomized controlled trials, 10 pre-post nonrandomized interventions, and 1 nonrandomized intervention with concurrent controls. Quality (range, 8-25; median, 15) and outcome definitions varied greatly. Thirteen studies employed strategies to reduce catheter use or improve catheter care; 9 studies employed general infection prevention strategies (eg, improving hand hygiene, surveillance, contact precautions, reducing antibiotics). The 19 studies reported 12 UTI outcomes, 9 CAUTI outcomes, 4 bacteriuria outcomes, and 5 catheter use outcomes. Five studies showed CAUTI reduction (1 significantly); 9 studies showed UTI reduction (none significantly); 2 studies showed bacteriuria reduction (none significantly). Four studies showed reduced catheter use (1 significantly).

Limitations: Studies were often underpowered to assess statistical significance; none were pooled given variety of interventions and outcomes.

Conclusions: Several practices, often implemented in bundles, such as improving hand hygiene, reducing and improving catheter use, managing incontinence without catheters, and enhanced barrier precautions, appear to reduce UTI or CAUTI in nursing home residents. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2017;12:356-368.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Catheter-Related Infections / diagnosis
  • Catheter-Related Infections / epidemiology
  • Catheter-Related Infections / prevention & control*
  • Catheters, Indwelling / adverse effects
  • Catheters, Indwelling / microbiology
  • Homes for the Aged* / standards
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / methods*
  • Infection Control / standards
  • Nursing Homes* / standards
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / methods
  • Urinary Catheterization / adverse effects*
  • Urinary Catheterization / standards
  • Urinary Tract Infections / diagnosis
  • Urinary Tract Infections / epidemiology
  • Urinary Tract Infections / prevention & control*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents