Research and analysis

Clostridium difficile infection (CDI): management in care homes

This study by Health Protection Agency (now PHE) finds out how well diarrhoea is managed and treated in nursing and residential (care) homes.

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Clostridium difficile is a healthcare-associated infection of the intestine and is the main cause of antibiotic-associated diarrhoea and colitis. It is a major public health problem and mainly affects elderly patients and those with underlying illnesses.

Although rates of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) in England have decreased recently, the number of cases remains high. Efforts to reduce C. difficile infection rates have been initiated in care homes, led by national guidance. This reflects the concentration of vulnerable people in such settings, where use of antibiotics and gastric acid suppressants is common.

This study aimed to find out how well diarrhoea is managed and treated in nursing and residential homes (care homes), to identify areas where knowledge and practice could be improved.