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Open Access Research article

Effect of a multi-faceted quality improvement intervention on inappropriate antibiotic use in children with non-bloody diarrhoea admitted to district hospitals in Kenya

Charles Opondo1*, Philip Ayieko1, Stephen Ntoburi1, John Wagai1, Newton Opiyo1, Grace Irimu12, Elizabeth Allen3, James Carpenter3 and Mike English14

Author Affiliations

1 Child and Newborn Health Group, KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Nairobi, Kenya

2 Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya

3 Department of Medical Statistics, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK

4 Department of Paediatrics, University of Oxford and John Radcliffe Hospital, Headington, Oxford, UK

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BMC Pediatrics 2011, 11:109  doi:10.1186/1471-2431-11-109

Published: 25 November 2011

Abstract

Background

There are few reports of interventions to reduce the common but irrational use of antibiotics for acute non-bloody diarrhoea amongst hospitalised children in low-income settings. We undertook a secondary analysis of data from an intervention comprising training of health workers, facilitation, supervision and face-to-face feedback, to assess whether it reduced inappropriate use of antibiotics in children with non-bloody diarrhoea and no co-morbidities requiring antibiotics, compared to a partial intervention comprising didactic training and written feedback only. This outcome was not a pre-specified end-point of the main trial.

Methods

Repeated cross-sectional survey data from a cluster-randomised controlled trial of an intervention to improve management of common childhood illnesses in Kenya were used to describe the prevalence of inappropriate antibiotic use in a 7-day period in children aged 2-59 months with acute non-bloody diarrhoea. Logistic regression models with random effects for hospital were then used to identify patient and clinician level factors associated with inappropriate antibiotic use and to assess the effect of the intervention.

Results

9, 459 admission records of children were reviewed for this outcome. Of these, 4, 232 (44.7%) were diagnosed with diarrhoea, with 130 of these being bloody (dysentery) therefore requiring antibiotics. 1, 160 children had non-bloody diarrhoea and no co-morbidities requiring antibiotics-these were the focus of the analysis. 750 (64.7%) of them received antibiotics inappropriately, 313 of these being in the intervention hospitals vs. 437 in the controls. The adjusted logistic regression model showed the baseline-adjusted odds of inappropriate antibiotic prescription to children admitted to the intervention hospitals was 0.30 times that in the control hospitals (95%CI 0.09-1.02).

Conclusion

We found some evidence that the multi-faceted, sustained intervention described in this paper led to a reduction in the inappropriate use of antibiotics in treating children with non-bloody diarrhoea.

Trial registration

International Standard Randomised Controlled Trial Number Register ISRCTN42996612