How are antibacterials used in nursing homes? Results from a point-prevalence prescription study in 44 Norwegian nursing homes

Authors

  • Hege Salvesen Blix,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pharmacoepidemiology, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway
    • Department of Pharmacoepidemiology, Norwegian Institute of Public Health, P.O. Box 4404 Nydalen, N-0403 Oslo, Norway.
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  • Jenny Bergman,

    1. Regional Drug Information Centre (RELIS Vest), Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway
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  • Jan Schjøtt

    1. Section of Clinical Pharmacology, Laboratory of Clinical Biochemistry, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway
    2. Section for Pharmacology, Institute of Internal Medicine, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
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  • The authors have no conflicts of interest.

Abstract

Purpose

To describe the use of antibacterials among nursing home residents in Norway according to diagnosis, therapy choice, doses and expected duration of treatment.

Methods

A one-day point-prevalence study was carried out in 44 Norwegian nursing homes, spring 2006. Use of systemic antibacterials was recorded by indication, antibiotic name, dose and expected length of treatment.

Results

Of the 1473 nursing home residents, 224 (15%) were prescribed antibiotics. 149 (10%) were given antibiotics as prophylaxis, while 85 residents (6%) were treated with an antibiotic for an infection. 10 residents received both prophylaxis and treatment simultaneously. Antibiotics for treatment were in 66% of the cases for urinary tract infections (UTI) and in 20% for respiratory tract infections (RTI) with pivmecillinam and phenoxymethylpenicillin most frequently used, respectively.

Conclusions

Antibiotics are often used in nursing homes, both as treatment and prophylaxis. The most common infections treated with antibiotics were UTIs, followed by RTIs. Choice of antibacterial, dosage and duration of treatment were in accordance with recommendations in guidelines. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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