Evidence-Based Management of Urinary Tract Infections Across the Lifespan: Current Update

Kathryn A. Blair, PhD, APRN-BC, FNP


Journal for Nurse Practitioners. 2007;3(9):629-632. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common in a busy primary care setting, accounting for approximately 7 million office visits annually. These infections affect all ages and both sexes, with the highest prevalence in women. The key to management of the uncomplicated UTI depends on the correct diagnosis and pharmacologic agent. Other variables to consider when treating UTIs are uropathogen resistance patterns, patient population, and duration of therapy to name a few. This article presents an evidence-based approach to the diagnosis and treatment of UTIs across the lifespan.


Urinary tract infections (UTIs) account for approximately 7 million office visits annually, affecting men, women, and children.[1,2,3] UTIs are defined as infectious processes that occur anywhere in the urinary system, involving the urethra, bladder, ureters, or kidneys. Some clinicians use the terms complicated and uncomplicated to further delineate these infections. Complicated UTIs refer to those infections that result in treatment failure or complications (ie, pyelonephritis or renal scarring). In addition, complicated UTIs include certain populations such as pregnant women, males and persons with the any of the following: comorbid conditions (ie, diabetes, renal disease, etc), a recent history of a UTI, or urinary tract anamolies.[1,2,3,4,5] Evaluation and management of complicated UTIs are beyond the scope of this article; however, management of UTIs in men and pregnant females are briefly addressed.


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