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JFSF Vol 4, No 2, June 2019, p.36-44

doi: 10.22540/JFSF-04-036


Original Article

Evaluating a hydration intervention (DRInK Up) to prevent urinary tract infection in care home residents: A mixed methods exploratory study

Jo Booth1, Rona Agnew2

  1. Centre for Living, School of Health & Life Sciences, Glasgow Caledonian university, Glasgow UK
  2. SPHERE Bladder & Bowel Service, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde

Keywords: Care homes, Fluids, Hydration, Urinary tract infection, Falls


Objectives: To investigate potential effects and acceptability of a theoretically driven hydration intervention (DRInK-Up), on the prevalence of urinary tract infections (UTIs), falls and emergency admissions in care home residents. Methods: A single group pre-post evaluation design to test the DRInK-Up intervention, to increase fluid intake by 200-400ml daily. The number of UTIs, falls and emergency hospital admissions for each resident recorded over the DRInK-Up intervention period were compared to rates in the 24 weeks prior. A qualitative investigation of experiences of DRInK-Up was undertaken using focus group interviews with care home staff to determine acceptability. Results: 24 care home residents took part in the intervention. There was a clinically meaningful, but non-statistically significant reduction in number of treated UTIs during the intervention period from 51 UTIs pre-DRInK-Up to 37 post-DRInK-Up (t=.498, 18df, p=0.625). The volume of fluid intake recorded was not correlated with number of UTIs (r= 0.103, p=.676). Falls reported dropped from 52 pre- to 28 post-intervention (t=3.148, df 19, p=0.005). Emergency admissions did not change. Focus group interviews suggested goal setting was uncommon and took the form of externally generated targets for fluid intake rather than negotiated goals. Barriers to increasing fluid intake included resident-related factors or arose from the care home context. A range of facilitators included verbal persuasion, praise and reward. Conclusion: The DRInK-Up study provides preliminary evidence suggesting that increasing daily fluid intake by small amounts may have a potentially positive effect on number of UTIs experienced and number of falls in frail older care home residents. Further research is needed.