Qualitative interview study: managing urinary tract infections
What do women think about how infections are managed?
- By: Alison Walker
Urinary tract infection does not always need treatment with antibiotics as it may be self limiting. But most women are prescribed an antibiotic when they present to their general practitioner (GP) with symptoms when they might be prepared to wait and see if their symptoms resolve, and avoid the possible side effects of the antibiotics.
This study set out to record women’s attitudes to antibiotics and what they thought has caused their urinary tract infection. The authors wanted to see what women would think about not being treated with an antibiotic when they first went to their GP with symptoms. Instead they would be given a delayed prescription: one that they only collected if symptoms still persisted after 48 hours. They would be advised to drink plenty of fluids and try non-pharmacological alternatives—such as the use of cranberry juice, teas, or herbal remedies and potassium citrate or sodium biocarbonate.