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Examining antibiotic prescribing and urine culture testing for urinary tract infections (UTIs) in a primary care spinal cord injury (SCI) cohort


Study Design — A retrospective cohort study.

Objectives — To describe antibiotic prescribing and urine culture testing patterns for urinary tract infections (UTIs) in a primary care Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) cohort.

Setting — A primary care electronic medical records (EMR) database in Ontario.

Methods — Using linked EMR health administrative databases to identify urine culture and antibiotic prescriptions ordered in primary care for 432 individuals with SCI from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2015. Descriptive statistics were conducted to describe the SCI cohort, and physicians. Regression analyses were conducted to determine patient and physician factors associated with conducting a urine culture and class of antibiotic prescription.

Results — The average annual number of antibiotic prescriptions for UTI for the SCI cohort during study period was 1.9. Urine cultures were conducted for 58.1% of antibiotic prescriptions. Fluroquinolones and nitrofurantoin were the most frequently prescribed antibiotics. Male physicians and international medical graduates were more likely to prescribe fluroquinolones than nitrofurantoin for UTIs. Early-career physicians were more likely to order a urine culture when prescribing an antibiotic. No patient characteristics were associated with obtaining a urine culture or antibiotic class prescription.

Conclusion — Nearly 60% of antibiotic prescriptions for UTIs in the SCI population were associated with a urine culture. Only physician characteristics, not patient characteristics, were associated with whether or not a urine culture was conducted, and the class of antibiotic prescribed. Future research should aim to further understand physician factors with antibiotic prescribing and urine culture testing for UTIs in the SCI population.



Senthinathan A, Craven BC, Morris AM, Penner M, Tu K, Jaglal SB. Spinal Cord. 2023; 61(6):345-51. Epub 2023 May 2.

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