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Pediatr Emerg Care. 2019 Feb 14. doi: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000001745. [Epub ahead of print]

Guideline Adherence in Diagnostic Testing and Treatment of Community-Acquired Pneumonia in Children.

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Children's Hospital Colorado, School of Medicine, University of Colorado, Aurora, CO.
Boston Children's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.
Ann and Robert H Lurie Children's Hospital, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL.



The objective of this study was to determine emergency department (ED) physician adherence with the 2011 Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS) and Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) guidelines for outpatient management of children with mild-to-moderate community-acquired pneumonia (CAP).


A cross-sectional survey of physicians on the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Emergency Medicine Survey listserv was conducted. We evaluated ED physicians' reported adherence with the PIDS/IDSA guidelines through presentation of 4 clinical vignettes representing mild-to-moderate CAP of presumed viral (preschool-aged child), bacterial (preschool and school-aged child), and atypical bacterial (school-aged child) etiology.


Of 120 respondents with analyzable data (31.4% response rate), use of chest radiograph (CXR) was nonadherent to the guidelines in greater than 50% of respondents for each of the 4 vignettes. Pediatric emergency medicine fellowship training was independently associated with increased CXR use in all vignettes, except for school-aged children with bacterial CAP. Guideline-recommended amoxicillin was selected to treat bacterial CAP by 91.7% of the respondents for preschool-aged children and by 75.8% for school-aged children. Macrolide monotherapy for atypical CAP was appropriately selected by 88.2% and was associated with obtaining a CXR (adjusted odds ratio, 3.9 [95% confidence interval, 1.4-11.1]). Guideline-adherent antibiotic use for all vignettes was independently associated with congruence between respondent's presumed diagnosis and the vignette's intended etiologic diagnosis.


Reported ED CXR use in the management of outpatient CAP was often nonadherent to the PIDS/IDSA guidelines. Most respondents were adherent to the guidelines in their use of antibiotics. Strategies to increase diagnostic test accuracy are needed to improve adherence and reduce variation in care.

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