Background: Children with neurologic impairment (NI) face high risk of recurrent severe pneumonia, with prevention strategies of unknown effectiveness. We evaluated the comparative effectiveness of secondary prevention strategies for severe pneumonia in children with NI.
Methods: We included children enrolled in California Children's Services between July 1, 2009, and June 30, 2014, with NI and 1 pneumonia hospitalization. We examined associations between subsequent pneumonia hospitalization and expert-recommended prevention strategies: dental care, oral secretion management, gastric acid suppression, gastrostomy tube placement, chest physiotherapy, outpatient antibiotics before index hospitalization, and clinic visit before or after index hospitalization. We used a 1:2 propensity score matched model to adjust for covariates, including sociodemographics, medical complexity, and severity of index hospitalization.
Results: Among 3632 children with NI and index pneumonia hospitalization, 1362 (37.5%) had subsequent pneumonia hospitalization. Only dental care was associated with decreased risk of subsequent pneumonia hospitalization (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]: 0.64; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.49-0.85). Exposures associated with increased risk included gastrostomy tube placement (aOR: 2.15; 95% CI: 1.63-2.85), chest physiotherapy (aOR: 2.03; 95% CI: 1.29-3.20), outpatient antibiotics before hospitalization (aOR: 1.42; 95% CI: 1.06-1.92), clinic visit before (aOR: 1.30; 95% CI: 1.11-1.52), and after index hospitalization (aOR: 1.72; 95% CI: 1.35-2.20).
Conclusions: Dental care was associated with decreased recurrence of severe pneumonia. Several strategies, including gastrostomy tube placement, were associated with increased recurrence, possibly due to unresolved confounding by indication. Our results support a clinical trial of dental care to prevent severe pneumonia in children with NI.
Copyright © 2019 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.