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BMJ. 2010 Feb 5;340:c279. doi: 10.1136/bmj.c279.

Women's views about management and cause of urinary tract infection: qualitative interview study.

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Primary Medical Care, Community Clinical Sciences Division, University of Southampton School of Medicine, Aldermoor Health Centre, Southampton SO16 5ST.



To explore the views of women with urinary tract infection on the acceptability of different strategies for managing the infection, including delayed use of antibiotics, and the cause of infection.


Qualitative interview study with semistructured one to one interviews within a randomised controlled trial of different management strategies. Analysis drew on some of the principles of constant comparison to generate key themes grounded in reported experiences and understandings.


Seven general practices across four counties in southern England.


21 women presenting to general practices who were taking part in the larger trial.


Women preferred not to take antibiotics and were open to alternative management approaches. With a strategy of "antibiotic delay" some women felt a lack of validation or that they were not listened to by their general practitioner. Women attributed urinary tract infection to lifestyle habits and behaviours, such as poor hygiene, general "negligence," and even a "penalty of growing old."


A clear acknowledgment of women's triggers to consult is needed. If women are asked to delay taking antibiotics, the clinician must address the particular worries that women might have and explain the rationale for not using antibiotics immediately.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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