Shared decision making for women with uncomplicated Cystitis in Primary Care in the Netherlands: a qualitative interview study

Tessa M.Z.X.K. van Horrik*, Bart J. Laan, Rosanne van Seben, Gerda Rodenburg, Edwin J. Heeregrave, Suzanne E. Geerlings

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Background: Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common, especially among women. Antibiotics are commonly used to treat UTIs, but might not always be necessary, for example in the case of uncomplicated UTIs such as cystitis. Shared decision making (SDM) could reduce the risk of unnecessary antibiotic prescriptions for uncomplicated cystitis. We investigated the current management and the use of SDM for uncomplicated cystitis in primary care. Methods: We performed a qualitative semi-structured interview study among 23 women with a history of cystitis, 12 general practitioner (GP) assistants, and 12 GPs in the Netherlands from July to October 2020. All interviews were individually performed by telephone. The data were analyzed through the use of using open and axial coding. Results: The GP assistants managed the initial diagnostics and treatment of uncomplicated cystitis in all general practices. Usually, antibiotics were considered the standard treatment of cystitis. In most general practices, SDM was not used in the treatment of uncomplicated cystitis, mainly because of a lack of time. Women reported that they valued being involved in the treatment decision-making process, but they were not always involved. Further, both GP assistants and GPs indicated that SDM would improve the care pathway of uncomplicated UTIs. Conclusion: In our study, SDM was infrequently used to help women with uncomplicated cystitis. To reduce the use of antibiotics for uncomplicated UTIs, a tailored intervention is needed to implement SDM for the treatment of uncomplicated cystitis in primary care.

Original languageEnglish
Article number259
JournalBMC Primary Care
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was commissioned and supported by a grant from the National Health Care Institute in the Netherlands.

Publisher Copyright: © 2022, The Author(s).


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