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Dr. Laura Hanson
Laura Hanson, MD, MPH

Antimicrobials are extensively prescribed to nursing home residents with advanced dementia, often without evidence of infection or consideration of the goals of care.

Laura Hanson, MD, MPH, professor of geriatric medicine and medical director of the UNC Palliative Care Program,  tested the effectiveness of a multicomponent intervention to improve the management of suspected urinary tract infections (UTIs) and lower respiratory infections (LRIs) for nursing home residents with advanced dementia.

The primary outcome was antimicrobial treatment courses for suspected UTIs or LRIs per person-year. Outcomes were measured for as many as 12 months. Secondary outcomes were antimicrobial courses for suspected UTIs and LRIs when minimal criteria for treatment were absent per person-year and burdensome procedures used to manage these episodes (bladder catherization, chest radiography, venous blood sampling, or hospital transfer) per person-year.

The results, published in July in the JAMA Internal Medicine, found that despite high adherence to the training, a multicomponent intervention promoting goal-directed care for suspected UTIs and LRIs did not significantly reduce antimicrobial use among nursing home residents with advanced dementia.

Learn more about the trial.