Objectives: To investigate incidence, rationales, related factors and outcomes for changing from appropriate catheter placement to inappropriate use among hospitalized older patients in the emergency department. Methods: A secondary analysis was adopted from a longitudinal study that was designed to follow the lifecycle of the urinary catheter among hospitalized older patients. Patients aged 65 and older with a urinary catheter that had been placed in the emergency department were included. Demographic factors, present health conditions, conditional factors of catheter placement, and rationales for daily urinary catheter use were collected from the original data. Inappropriate urinary catheter days were evaluated as an outcome. Results: Appropriate urinary catheters were placed in the emergency department in 117 of the 156 patients (75%). Of these patients, 77 patients (65.8%) experienced a change from appropriate placement to inappropriate use, with a mean duration of 2.88±1.56 days. The common rationales were post-operation for hip fracture (36.3%) and no longer needing to monitor urine output (27.2%). A hierarchical regression model shows that a change from appropriate catheter placement to inappropriate use was associated with a diagnosis of urinary tract infection (OR = 0.15; 95% CI = 0.03-0.77; p = 0.02) and no record of the indication for catheter placement (OR = 4.76; 95% CI = 1.20-18.90; p = 0.02), and all variables together explained 35.9% of the variance. In addition, a change from appropriate placement to inappropriate use was further associated with prolonging inappropriate catheter-days (β = 5.34; 95% CI: 3.72-6.97; p <0.001). Conclusions The study highlights a considerable percentage of change from appropriate placement to inappropriate use. Efforts to construct reminder intervention, to improve the record of catheter placement and continued attention to catheter use are necessary to reduce inappropriate urinary catheter use.
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