Implementation of French Recommendations for the Prevention and the Treatment of Hospital-acquired Pneumonia: A Cluster-randomized Trial

Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Oct 5;73(7):e1601-e1610. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciaa1441.


Background: We determined whether an audit on the adherence to guidelines for hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) can improve the outcomes of patients in intensive care units (ICUs).

Methods: This study was conducted at 35 ICUs in 30 hospitals. We included consecutive, adult patients hospitalized in ICUs for 3 days or more. After a 3-month baseline period followed by the dissemination of recommendations, an audit on the compliance to recommendations (audit period) was followed by a 3-month cluster-randomized trial. We randomly assigned ICUs to either receive audit and feedback (intervention group) or participate in a national registry (control group). The primary outcome was the duration of ICU stay.

Results: Among 1856 patients enrolled, 602, 669, and 585 were recruited in the baseline, audit, and intervention periods, respectively. The composite measures of compliance were 47% (interquartile range [IQR], 38-56%) in the intervention group and 42% (IQR, 25-53%) in the control group (P = .001). As compared to the baseline period, the ICU lengths of stay were reduced by 3.2 days in the intervention period (P = .07) and by 2.8 days in the control period (P = .02). The durations of ICU stay were 7 days (IQR, 5-14 days) in the control group and 9 days (IQR, 5-20 days) in the intervention group (P = .10). After adjustment for unbalanced baseline characteristics, the hazard ratio for being discharged alive from the ICU in the control group was 1.17 (95% confidence interval, .69-2.01; P = .10).

Conclusions: The publication of French guidelines for HAP was associated with a reduction of the ICU length of stay. However, the realization of an audit to improve their application did not further improve outcomes.

Clinical trials registration: NCT03348579.

Keywords: guidelines; hospital-acquired pneumonia; intensive care unit; quality improvement program.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Critical Care
  • Healthcare-Associated Pneumonia*
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Intensive Care Units*
  • Length of Stay

Associated data