Guidelines and management of hospitalized patients with community-acquired pneumonia: the Italian experience of the FASTCAP study

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I. Iori *
G. Gussoni
F. Blasi
A. Bulfoni
S. Costantino
D. Legnani
on behalf of the FASTCAP Study Group
(*) Corresponding Author:
I. Iori | paola.granata@pagepress.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND Nowadays few data are available addressing the validation of guidelines concerning diagnosis and treatment of Community-Acquired Pneumonia (CAP) in clinical practice.
AIM OF THE STUDY To evaluate the impact of compliance to the recommendations issued by the Italian Federation of Internal Medicine (FADOI) in 2002 on the management of hospitalised CAP.
METHODS National, multicentre, interventional, “before-after” survey, performed in 31 hospitals in Italy. All patients with CAP of Fine class IV or V (excluding those who were directly admitted to intensive care units) were included. The study was composed of three consecutive periods: 1) a retrospective phase (RP); 2) guideline implementation; 3) a prospective phase (PP). Results were expressed as Odds Ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) adjusted for risk factors and corrected for multiple comparisons in subgroups.
RESULTS A significant increase in use of combinations was observed in the PP (p = 0.006). Moreover, a shift of prescription from β-lactams to fluoroquinolones as initial monotherapy was recorded. Therapies adherent to FADOI recommendations increased by 10.9% in the PP (p < 0.001). Therapeutic success improved after implementation of recommendations (73.9 vs 71.5%; OR = 0.83; 95% CI = 0.69-1.00; p = 0.049). The difference was particularly evident in Fine class V (58.0 vs 52.5%; OR = 0.71; 95% CI = 0.51-0.98; p = 0.036), where a trend towards a lower mortality occurred (23.1 vs 26.3%; OR = 0.71; 95% CI = 0.48-1.05; p = 0.090). Therapies compliant with FADOI recommendations showed a higher success rate in both study phases (76.6% vs 70.3%; OR = 0.74; 95% CI = 0.60-0.90; p = 0.004). Levofloxacin was the most clinically effective first-cycle therapy with 79.1% of success, the least effective being an antipneumococcal cephalosporin alone with 68.6% (OR = 0.72; 95% CI = 0.51-1.01; p = 0.053). Etiologic diagnosis was obtained in less than 12% of patients in both study phases. Mean lengths of hospital stay were 12.2 and 11.9 days in the RP and PP, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS Implementation of FADOI therapeutic recommendations led to a significantly better outcome in terms of clinical success, especially in more severe cases of CAP. Possibly, more “aggressive” approaches towards implementation may result in further improvement in the overall management of CAP.

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