Survey of physician diagnostic practices for patients with acute diarrhea: Clinical and public health implications

Thomas W. Hennessy, Ruthanne Marcus, Valerie Deneen, Sudha Reddy, Duc Vugia, John Townes, Molly Bardsley, David Swerdlow, Frederick J. Angulo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

64 Scopus citations

Abstract

To understand physician practices regarding the diagnosis of acute diarrheal diseases, we conducted a survey, in 1996, of 2839 physicians in Connecticut, Georgia, Minnesota, Oregon, and California. Bacterial stool culture was requested for samples from the last patient seen for acute diarrhea by 784 (44%; 95% confidence interval, 42%-46%) of 1783 physicians. Physicians were more likely to request a culture for persons with acquired immune deficiency syndrome, bloody stools, travel to a developing country, diarrhea for >3 days, intravenous rehydration, or fever. Substantial geographic and specialty differences in culture-request practices were observed. Twenty-eight percent of physicians did not know whether stool culture included testing for Escherichia coli O157:H7; 40% did not know whether Yersinia or Vibrio species were included. These variabilities suggest a need for clinical diagnostic guidelines for diarrhea. Many physicians could benefit from education to improve their knowledge about tests included in routine stool examinations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S203-S211
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Volume38
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 15 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Survey of physician diagnostic practices for patients with acute diarrhea: Clinical and public health implications'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Hennessy, T. W., Marcus, R., Deneen, V., Reddy, S., Vugia, D., Townes, J., Bardsley, M., Swerdlow, D., & Angulo, F. J. (2004). Survey of physician diagnostic practices for patients with acute diarrhea: Clinical and public health implications. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 38(SUPPL. 3), S203-S211. https://doi.org/10.1086/381588