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Unnecessary antibiotic treatment of suspected urinary tract infection (UTI) is common in long-term care facilities (LTCFs). However, less is known about the extent of suboptimal treatment, in terms of antibiotic choice, dose, and duration, after the decision to use antibiotics has been made. METHODS

We described the frequency of potentially suboptimal treatment among residents with an incident UTI (first during the study with none in the year prior) in Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Community Living Centers (CLCs, 2013-2018). Time trends were analyzed using Joinpoint regression. Residents with UTIs receiving potentially suboptimal treatment were compared to those receiving optimal treatment to identify resident characteristics predictive of suboptimal antibiotic treatment, using multivariable unconditional logistic regression models. RESULTS

We identified 21,938 residents with an incident UTI treated in 120 VA CLCs, of which 96.0% were male. Potentially suboptimal antibiotic treatment was identified in 65.0% of residents and decreased 1.8% annually (p<0.05). Potentially suboptimal initial drug choice was identified in 45.6% of residents, suboptimal dose frequency in 28.6%, and longer than recommended duration in 12.7%. Predictors of suboptimal antibiotic treatment included: prior fluoroquinolone exposure (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] 1.38), chronic renal disease (aOR 1.19), age >85 years (aOR 1.17), prior skin infection (aOR 1.14), recent high white blood cell count (aOR 1.08), and genitourinary disorder (aOR 1.08). CONCLUSION

Similar to findings in non-VA facilities, potentially suboptimal treatment was common but improving in CLC residents with an incident UTI. Predictors of suboptimal antibiotic treatment should be targeted with antibiotic stewardship interventions to improve UTI treatment.