Uncomplicated urinary tract infection in primary health care: presentation and clinical outcome

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Background: Uncomplicated urinary tract infection (UTI) causes bothersome symptoms among women and is a leading cause for antibiotic prescribing in primary healthcare (PHC). Methods: A prospective observational study in eight different PHC centres in Sweden including 192 women with symptoms of uncomplicated UTI. Questionnaires and symptom diaries were used to retrieve patient data. All urine samples were analysed with urine culture and susceptibility testing. The aim was to describe the clinical presentation of symptoms in uncomplicated UTI in relation to bacterial findings in urine and to describe the course and duration of symptoms in relation to anamnestic factors, bacterial findings and antibiotic treatment. Results: Median symptom duration before seeking care was four days (IQR 1–7). Restrictions in daily life related to symptoms of uncomplicated UTI were reported by the majority (74%) of respondents. The median number of days concerning any symptom after consultation was 4.0 days (IQR 2.0–5.0) for patients treated with antibiotics, and 6.5 days (IQR 3.0–10.0) for patients not treated with antibiotics. There was an association between longer symptom duration after consultation and age over 50 years, relative risk (RR) 1.76 (95% CI 1.25–2.49). Antibiotic treatment RR 0.47 (95% CI 0.27–0.81) was associated with reported shorter duration of symptoms. Conclusions: Women visiting primary health care with symptoms indicating uncomplicated UTI have symptoms for several days before seeking care and after consulting. A majority of patients feel restricted in their daily activities due to uncomplicated UTI. Older women and women not treated with antibiotics have the longest symptom duration after consultation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)94-101
JournalInfectious Diseases
Issue number2
Early online date2020 Oct 19
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Urology and Nephrology

Free keywords

  • empirical antibiotics
  • primary health care
  • self-medication
  • symptom diary
  • Urinary tract infection (UTI)
  • urine culture


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