In this episode Professor Tammy Hoffmann talks about research into the natural history of uncomplicated urinary tract infections that could have a big impact on conversations with women and treatment with antibiotics. She is a professor of Clinical Epidemiology and leads the Centre for Evidence-Informed Health Decisions in the Institute of Evidence-Based Healthcare, Bond University.

Natural history of uncomplicated urinary tract infection without antibiotics: a systematic review

Read the paper: https://doi.org/10.3399/bjgp20X712781

Uncomplicated urinary tract infections (UTIs) are a very common reason for general practice consultations and one of the most common reasons for the prescription of antibiotics. Informed decision making should consider the benefit/harm trade-off of antibiotic use and the natural course of the illness. The studies reviewed in this paper, which focused solely on women, demonstrated that UTI symptoms resolve spontaneously in approximately a third of women in the first 7–10 days. Current guideline recommendations from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence are to delay prescribing by two days but the findings of this systematic review indicate that this may be too short a timeframe.