Catheter-associated urinary tract infection is the most common health care–associated infection, is considered avoidable, and has cost implications for health services. Prevalence is high in nursing homes, but little research has been undertaken to establish whether implementing clinical guidelines can reduce infection rates in long-term care or improve quality of urinary catheter care.
Systematic search and critical appraisal of the literature.
Three studies evaluated the impact of implementing a complete clinical guideline. Five additional studies evaluated the impact of implementing individual elements of a clinical guideline.
Prevention of catheter-associated urinary tract infection in nursing homes has received little clinical or research attention. Studies concerned with whole guideline implementation emerged as methodologically poor using recognized criteria for critically appraising epidemiologic studies concerned with infection prevention. Research evaluating the impact of single elements of clinical guidelines is more robust, and their findings could be implemented to prevent urinary infections in nursing homes.