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ObjectiveTo examine prescription patterns and explore to what extent guidelines are available and how they might influence treatment appropriateness among hospitalised patients in Kenyan hospitals.MethodsData on antimicrobial usage were collected from hospitalised patients across 14 Kenyan public hospitals. For each prescription, appropriateness of treatment was defined using available local and international treatment guidelines and through consensus with local medical specialists. Association between appropriate treatment, guideline availability and other possible explanatory factors was explored using univariate and multiple regression analysis.ResultsThere were 1675 (46.7%) of the 3590 hospitalised patients on antimicrobials with 3145(94%) of the 3363 antimicrobial prescriptions being antibiotics. Two patients (0.1%), had treatment based on available antibiotic susceptibility tests. Appropriate treatment was assessed in 1502 patients who had a single diagnosis. Of these, 805 (53.6%) received appropriate treatment. Physical availability of treatment guidelines increased the odds of receiving appropriate treatment Odds Ratio 6.44[95% CI 4.81-8.64].ConclusionAppropriate antibiotic prescription remains a challenge in Kenyan public hospitals. This may be improved by the availability of context-specific, up-to-date, and readily accessible treatment guidelines across all the departments, and by providing better diagnostic support.

Original publication




Journal article


International journal of infectious diseases : IJID : official publication of the International Society for Infectious Diseases

Publication Date





10 - 18


KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Health Services Research Group, PO Box 43640-00100 Nairobi, Kenya; Department of Global Health, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Postbus 22660,1100 DD Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address:


Humans, Anti-Bacterial Agents, Prevalence, Adult, Child, Infant, Newborn, Hospitals, Public, Drug Utilization Review, Kenya, Female, Male, Drug Prescriptions