Adherence to Guidelines for Management of Children Hospitalized for Acute Diarrhea


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Abstract

Background:The major burden of acute gastroenteritis (AGE) in childhood is related to its high frequency and the large number of hospitalizations, medical consultations, tests and drug prescriptions. The adherence to evidence-based recommendations for AGE management in European countries is unknown. The purpose of the study was to compare hospital medical interventions for children admitted for AGE with recommendations reported in the European Societies of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and Pediatric Infectious Diseases guidelines.Methods:A multicenter prospective study was conducted in 31 Italian hospitals. Data on children were collected through an online clinical reporting form and compared with European Societies of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and Pediatric Infectious Diseases guidelines for AGE. The main outcomes were the inappropriate hospital admissions and the percentage of compliance to the guidelines (full >90%, partial >80% compliance) based on the number and type of violations to evidence-based recommendations.Results:Six-hundred and twelve children (53.6% male, mean age 22.8 ± 15.4 months) hospitalized for AGE were enrolled. Many hospital admissions (346/602, 57.5%) were inappropriate. Once admitted, 20.6% (126/612) of children were managed in full compliance with the guidelines and 44.7% (274/612) were managed in partial compliance. The most common violations were requests for microbiologic tests (404; 35.8%), diet changes (310; 27.6%) and the prescription of non-recommended probiotics (161; 14.2%), antibiotics (103; 9.2%) and antidiarrheal drugs (7; 0.6%).Conclusions:Inappropriate hospital admissions and medical interventions are still common in the management of children with AGE in Italy. Implementation of guidelines recommendations is needed to improve quality of care.

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