Diapers as Promising Alternative Collection Method for Urine Specimens in Nursing Home Residents: A Noninferiority Study.


OBJECTIVE: There is unmet need for an easy, noninvasive urine collection method to diagnose urinary tract infections (UTIs) in nursing home residents suffering from urinary incontinence or cognitive impairments. UTIs are highly prevalent in nursing home residents, and urine specimen collection can be difficult. The objective of this study was to assess if urine specimens collected from super-absorbing incontinence pads (adult diapers) are a reliable collection method for UTI diagnosis. DESIGN: This was a paired noninferiority laboratory study, in which pairing refers to UTI diagnostics performed directly using clinical urine specimens (reference specimen) and indirectly using urine extracted from diapers (diaper specimen). SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: In this study, remnants of 250 clinical urine specimens were used to assess noninferiority in diagnosing UTIs, based on a 1-sided type I error of 2.5%, a power of 90%, and a noninferiority margin of 15%. METHODS: Urine specimens were poured on super-absorbing disposable adult diapers and extracted after 3 hours, to use for dipstick urinalysis and bacterial culture. UTIs were defined as presence of leukocytes and a positive bacterial culture. Noninferiority was assessed by calculating a Wald-type test statistic. RESULTS: Noninferiority was established for diagnosing UTIs in diaper specimens, and for each of its components (dipstick leukocyte detection and bacterial culture positivity). Positive bacterial cultures were found in 72 (29.0%) diaper specimens compared with 65 (26.2%) reference specimens (difference -2.8%, 97.5% CI -7.1% to 1.5%). Leukocytes were present in 162 (64.8%) diaper specimens, compared with 175 (70.0%) reference specimens (difference -5.7%, 97.5% CI: -10.6% to -0.7%). CONCLUSION AND IMPLICATIONS: Our results on diagnosing UTIs, by dipstick analysis and bacterial cultures, using super-absorbing adult diapers are promising. Before translation into clinical practice, further studies are needed to evaluate the risk of bacterial contamination by wearing adult diapers, possibly resulting in overdiagnosis of UTI.

Journal of the American Medical Directors Association