Review Article| Volume 19, ISSUE 2, P110-116, February 2018

Antibiotic Stewardship Programs in Nursing Homes: A Systematic Review

Published:August 07, 2017DOI:



      Antibiotic stewardship programs (ASPs) are coordinated interventions promoting the appropriate use of antibiotics to improve patient outcomes and reduce microbial resistance. These programs are now mandated in nursing homes (NHs) but it is unclear if these programs improve resident outcomes. This systematic review evaluated the current evidence regarding outcomes of ASPs in the NH.


      PubMed, CINAHL, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library were systematically searched for intervention trials of ASPs performed in NHs that evaluated final health outcomes (mortality and Clostridium difficile infections), healthcare utilization outcomes (emergency department visits and hospital admissions) and intermediate health outcomes (number of antibiotics prescribed, adherence to recommended guidelines).


      A total of 14 studies rated good or fair quality were included. Eight studies reported a reduction in antibiotic prescriptions. Ten found an increase in adherence to guidelines proposed by the studied ASP. None reported a statistically significant change in NH mortality rates, C. difficile infection rates, or hospitalizations.


      The limited research to date suggests that NH ASPs can affect intermediate health outcomes, but not key health outcomes or health care utilization.


      Larger trials evaluating more intensive interventions over longer durations may be needed to determine whether ASPs in NHs improve health outcomes as they have in hospitals.
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