Title

Variation in bacterial pneumonia diagnoses and outcomes among children hospitalized with lower respiratory tract infections.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-2022

Identifier

DOI: 10.1002/jhm.12940

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Current diagnostics do not permit reliable differentiation of bacterial from viral causes of lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI), which may lead to over-treatment with antibiotics for possible bacterial community-acquired pneumonia (CAP).

OBJECTIVES: We sought to describe variation in the diagnosis and treatment of bacterial CAP among children hospitalized with LRTIs and determine the association between CAP diagnosis and outcomes.

DESIGN, SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: This multicenter cross-sectional study included children hospitalized between 2017 and 2019 with LRTIs at 42 children's hospitals.

MAIN OUTCOME AND METHODS: We calculated the proportion of children with LRTIs who were diagnosed with and treated for bacterial CAP. After adjusting for confounders, hospitals were grouped into high, moderate, and low CAP diagnosis groups. Multivariable regression was used to examine the association between high and low CAP diagnosis groups and outcomes.

RESULTS: We identified 66,581 patients hospitalized with LRTIs and observed substantial variation across hospitals in the proportion diagnosed with and treated for bacterial CAP (median 27%, range 12%-42%). Compared with low CAP diagnosing hospitals, high diagnosing hospitals had higher rates of CAP-related revisits (0.6% [95% confidence interval: 0.5, 0.7] vs. 0.4% [0.4, 0.5], p = .04), chest radiographs (58% [53, 62] vs. 46% [41, 51], p = .02), and blood tests (43% [33, 53] vs. 26% [19, 35], p = .046). There were no significant differences in length of stay, all-cause revisits or readmissions, CAP-related readmissions, or costs.

CONCLUSION: There was wide variation across hospitals in the proportion of children with LRTIs who were treated for bacterial CAP. The lack of meaningful differences in clinical outcomes among hospitals suggests that some institutions may over-diagnose and overtreat bacterial CAP.

Journal Title

J Hosp Med

Volume

17

Issue

11

First Page

872

Last Page

879

MeSH Keywords

Child; Humans; Cross-Sectional Studies; Pneumonia, Bacterial; Respiratory Tract Infections; Community-Acquired Infections; Pneumonia; Anti-Bacterial Agents; Hospitals, Pediatric

Keywords

Cross-Sectional Studies; Bacterial Pneumonia; Respiratory Tract Infections; Community-Acquired Infections; Pneumonia; Anti-Bacterial Agents; Pediatric Hospitals

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