Is routine screening for urinary tract infection in rehabilitation day-hospital elderly patients necessary?

Avital Hershkovitz*, Yichayaou Beloosesky, Nitzchia Pomp, Shai Brill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is not known whether all rehabilitation day-hospital patients need to be assessed for urinary tract infection (UTI). The aims of this study were to identify patients at high risk to develop UTI and to determine whether there was an association between the amount of post-void residual urine (PVR) and UTI. We surveyed 211 consecutive patients admitted to the day-hospital unit of a geriatric rehabilitation center between June 1998 and February 1999. The main diagnoses were stroke, orthopedic surgeries and deconditioning. Urine samples for general analysis and bacteriology were collected from each patient upon admission. PVR was measured using portable ultrasound. Telephone interviews were conducted with 141 patients, 3-11 months after the initial screening. The prevalence of UTI at admission was higher in women (P=0.007), and patients with decreased functional level (P=0.001). The incidence rate correlated with the functional level but not with gender or main diagnosis. The relative risk of dependent patients to develop UTI was 7.5 times higher than in independent patients. Significant amounts of PVR were equal in males and females. The relative risk of individuals with significant amounts of PVR to develop UTI was 1.63 times greater then those with negligible and moderate amounts of PVR. Gender, degree of functional level and main diagnosis had no effect on the relationship between PVR and UTI. We conclude that low functional level and significant amounts of PVR are risk factors for prevalence and incidence of UTI in elderly patients in a rehabilitation day-hospital. There is no need for routine urine analysis in every elderly patient admitted to rehabilitation day-hospitals, however, PVR measurements by portable ultrasound are valuable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-36
Number of pages8
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002


  • Day-hospital
  • Elderly
  • Postvoid residual urine
  • Rehabilitation
  • Urinary tract infection


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