• diarrhoea;
  • hospitalized patients;
  • intensive care;
  • medication;
  • nursing;
  • sorbitol;
  • tube feeding


Title. Re-examination of risk factors for non-Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhoea in hospitalized patients.

Aim.  This paper is a report of a study to determine the incidence of non-Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhoea in hospitalized patients and to re-evaluate clinical characteristics and other risk factors related to non-C. difficile-associated diarrhoea.

Background.  Numerous factors are thought to be responsible for diarrhoea in hospitalized patients. Reports about the diarrhoeal effects of some medications administered concomitantly with tube feeding have stimulated reappraisal of the influence of tube feeding as a potential cause.

Method.  This study was a secondary analysis of data of 154 hospitalized patients collected during a prospective epidemiological study from 1992 to 1993. The secondary analysis was completed in 2006 in order to investigate unanswered questions of current importance.

Findings.  The sample was predominantly male and middle aged; approximately 50% were tube fed, and 25% were in an intensive care unit. The incidence of diarrhoea was 35%. Increased severity of illness as well as the combination of sorbitol-containing medication administration and tube feeding were found to be statistically significant factors in the development of diarrhoea.

Conclusion.  As diarrhoea in hospitalized patients appears to be multifactorial, use of an algorithm to systematically evaluate and manage related factors is recommended.