Outpatient management of urinary tract infections by medical officers in Nairobi, Kenya: lack of benefit from audit and feedback on adherence to treatment guidelines

Florence Njeri Mbatia, James Orwa, Mary B. Adam, Gulnaz Mahomoud, Rodney D. Adam

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Introduction: Acute uncomplicated urinary tract infections are common in outpatient settings but are not treated optimally. Few studies of the outpatient use of antibiotics for specific diagnoses have been done in sub-Saharan Africa, so little is known about the prescribing patterns of medical officers in the region. Methods: Aga Khan University has 16 outpatient clinics throughout the Nairobi metro area with a medical officer specifically assigned to that clinic. A baseline assessment of evaluation and treatment of suspected UTI was performed from medical records in these clinics. Then the medical officer from each of the 16 clinics was recruited from each clinic was recruited with eight each randomized to control vs. feedback groups. Both groups were given a multimodal educational session including locally adapted UTI guidelines and emphasis on problems identified in the baseline assessment Each record was scored using a scoring system that was developed for the study according to adequacy of history, physical examination, clinical diagnosis matching recorded data, diagnostic workup and treatment. Three audits were done for both groups; baseline (audit 1), post-CME (audit 2), and a final audit, which was after feedback for the feedback group (audit 3). The primary analysis assessed overall guideline adherence in the feedback group versus the CME only group. Results: The overall scores in both groups showed significant improvement after the CME in comparison to baseline and for each group, the scores in most domains also improved. However, audit 3 showed persistence of the gains attained after the CME but no additional benefit from the feedback. Some deficiencies that persisted throughout the study included lack of workup of possible STI and excess use of non-UTI laboratory tests such as CBC, stool culture and H. pylori Ag. After the CME, the use of nitrofurantoin rose from only 4% to 8% and cephalosporin use increased from 49 to 67%, accompanied by a drop in quinolone use. Conclusion: The CME led to modest improvements in patient care in the categories of history taking, treatment and investigations, but feedback had no additional effect. Future studies should consider an enforcement element or a more intensive feedback approach.

Original languageEnglish
Article number608
JournalBMC Infectious Diseases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023


  • Antimicrobial stewardship
  • Audit and feedback
  • Diagnostic stewardship
  • Urinary tract infection


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