Comment

Dipstick urine test advice misses the point

Advice against using dipsticks to identify urinary tract infections in people over 65 appears flawed

Advice against using dipsticks to identify urinary tract infections in people over 65 appears flawed, says Bethann Siviter

Guidance advising against using dipsticks to identify urinary tract infections (UTI) in people over 65 has been published by Public Health England and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

Although urine dipsticks have a role in diagnostics, many people in that age group have asymptomatic bacteriuria, so the dipsticks results are unreliable, the guidance says.

The British Medical Association’s GP Committee clinical and prescribing policy lead Andrew Green is quoted as telling Pulse magazine: ‘We would fully support this. GPs are often inundated with urine specimens from care and nursing homes taken without good reason.’

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