Variation by specialty in the treatment of urinary tract infection in women

Robert Swift Wigton, J. Craig Longenecker, Teresa J. Bryan, Connie Parenti, Stephen D. Flach, Thomas Gerald Tape

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

31 Scopus citations


To determine practicing physicians' strategies for diagnosing and managing uncomplicated urinary tract infection, we surveyed physicians in general internal medicine, family practice, obstetrics and gynecology, and emergency medicine in four states, Responses differed significantly by respondents' specialty. For example, nitrofurantoin was the antibiotic of first choice for 46% of obstetricians, while over 80% in the other specialties chose trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Most surveyed said they do not usually order urine culture, but the percentage who do varied by specialty. Most use a colony count of 105 colony-forming units or more for diagnosis although evidence favors a lower threshold, and 70% continue antibiotic therapy even if the culture result is negative. This survey found considerable variation by specialty and also among individual physicians regarding diagnosis and treatment of urinary tract infection and also suggests that some of the new information from the literature has not been translated to clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-494
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of general internal medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Sep 6 1999



  • Diagnosis
  • Management
  • Medical specialty
  • Urinary tract infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine

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