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J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2016 Jul;25(7):723-8. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2015.5349. Epub 2015 Dec 31.

Physician Specialty Influences Care of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease.

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1 Alpert Medical School of Brown University , Providence, Rhode Island.
2 Women and Infants Hospital , Providence, Rhode Island.
3 Department of Emergency Medicine, Rhode Island Hospital , Providence, Rhode Island.
4 Injury Prevention Center, Rhode Island Hospital , Providence, Rhode Island.



CDC guidelines recommend Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis, and HIV testing, as well as specific antibiotic regimens in the diagnosis and treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), although latitude in adhering to these guidelines is common. We hypothesized that adherence to CDC guidelines for antibiotic regimens and laboratory testing, coverage for anaerobic organisms, and the use of diagnostic imaging techniques do not differ significantly between practitioners with emergency medicine (EM) versus obstetrics and gynecology (OB-GYN) training.


We conducted a retrospective medical chart review on patients (N = 351) discharged with a diagnosis of PID over a 20-month period at two neighboring emergency care facilities-one with EM-trained providers and the other with OB-GYN-trained providers.


Adjusted for demographic predictors and chief complaint, there was no significant difference in adherence to N. gonorrhoeae and C. trachomatis antibiotic coverage guidelines between the two facilities (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] 1.34; 95% CI 0.66-2.74), using the OB-GYN facility in the numerator of the AOR. Anaerobic coverage was significantly more common at the OB-GYN facility (AOR 9.11; 95% CI 5.36-15.48). Both sites had very low rates of adherence to CDC laboratory testing guidelines with overall rates of adherence at 4.0% (95% CI 1.9%-5.9%). Utilization of diagnostic tests differed greatly between facilities: ultrasound utilization was 66.7% (95% CI 58.2%-75.2%) at the OB-GYN facility and 39.7% (95% CI 33.4%-45.9%) at the EM facility.


The diagnostic pathway for PID and adherence to guidelines differ significantly depending on physician specialty and practice environment, suggesting the need for further standardization, perhaps with cross-disciplinary training.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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