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 journalArticle

62 Citations (Scopus)

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)
JournalClinical Infectious Diseases
Volume38
Issue numberSUPPL. 3
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 15 2004
Externally publishedYes

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Diarrhea
Public Health
Physicians
Yersinia
Vibrio
Escherichia coli O157
Fluid Therapy
Acute Disease
Developing Countries
Surveys and Questionnaires
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Fever
Guidelines
Confidence Intervals
Education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

Cite this

Survey of physician diagnostic practices for patients with acute diarrhea : Clinical and public health implications. / Hennessy, Thomas W.; Marcus, Ruthanne; Deneen, Valerie; Reddy, Sudha; Vugia, Duc; Townes, John; Bardsley, Molly; Swerdlow, David; Angulo, Frederick J.

In: Clinical Infectious Diseases, Vol. 38, No. SUPPL. 3, 15.04.2004.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hennessy, TW, Marcus, R, Deneen, V, Reddy, S, Vugia, D, Townes, J, Bardsley, M, Swerdlow, D & Angulo, FJ 2004, 'Survey of physician diagnostic practices for patients with acute diarrhea: Clinical and public health implications', Clinical Infectious Diseases, vol. 38, no. SUPPL. 3. https://doi.org/10.1086/381588
Hennessy, Thomas W. ; Marcus, Ruthanne ; Deneen, Valerie ; Reddy, Sudha ; Vugia, Duc ; Townes, John ; Bardsley, Molly ; Swerdlow, David ; Angulo, Frederick J. / Survey of physician diagnostic practices for patients with acute diarrhea : Clinical and public health implications. In: Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2004 ; Vol. 38, No. SUPPL. 3.
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