OBJECTIVE: To study which tests general practitioners used to diagnose a urinary tract infection (UTI) in children and which patient characteristics were associated with test choice.
DESIGN: Retrospective chart review on the diagnosis of UTIs in children in Dutch general practices who were diagnosed as having a UTI. A total of 49 general practices participated in the study, and provided information on 148 children aged 0-12 years old.
RESULTS: The nitrite test, which is recommended as first step, was performed in 87% of the children during the first contact. Less than 30% of the children had a dipslide and 37% a cultured urine. About half of all children with a UTI diagnosis had a follow-up contact in general practice, and an average of 83% of these children had their urine tested. The recommended test, a dipslide, was performed in 26% of the children with a follow-up contact. Patient age and UTI history were associated with choice of test.
CONCLUSIONS: The diagnostic procedures for UTIs in children in general practices could be improved, with focus on the importance of an accurate UTI diagnosis in all children, and explaining which tests should be performed and what the test results mean.