What we know about Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are common presentations in general practice. The condition mainly affects females. More than 50% of women have at least one episode of UTI in their lifetime. Diagnosis of this is usually based on symptoms including dysuria (painful urination), frequency, urgency and low abdominal pain. Women visiting their GP with symptoms of a UTI are often treated empirically with antibiotics. This is sometimes done prior to the UTI being confirmed by testing a urine sample in the laboratory, this is not always according to first line recommendations.

Why is the SATIN study important?

The SATIN study is an observational study testing the feasibility of a mobile application which monitors UTI symptoms, severity and duration. By using this app, we hope to see if the treatment patients are prescribed for a UTI is associated with symptom severity and duration. We aim to capture patient’s experiences of using a mobile app instead of paper diaries to monitor an acute illness.

The current issue of antibiotic overuse

Over reliance of antibiotic use for an acute illness and a lack of new antibiotics being discovered has resulted in the global concern of antimicrobial resistance or AMR. AMR happens when organisms that cause infection no longer respond to antibiotics that previously were effective to treat the infection. There is a high prevalence of antibiotics prescribed for UTIs and due to the common presentation of UTIs in general practice, there is an opportunity to consider alternative methods for treating UTIs. This may help alleviate the ongoing issue of AMR.

Study and recruitment

The study will be carried out in general practices in Ireland. A total of 460 patient across a maximum of 20 practices with be invited to participate in the SATIN study.

Who can take part? 

Women presenting with symptoms of UTI will be asked to participate when they visit their GP. Patients eligible to participate are those who are 18 years or over and are considered generally healthy. Patients will receive their treatment and their symptoms will be tracked with a smartphone app.

What does participation involve?

The GP will notify the patient about the study and if interested will refer the patient to the study’s researcher who will be present within the clinic. As part of this study, the GP will collect a urine sample during the consultation. The researcher will provide them with the study’s information, download the SATIN app on the patient’s smartphone and answer any questions the patient may have.

The SATIN app will notify the patient twice a day to fill in questions on how they are feeling. Four days after visiting their GP, the patient will receive a phone call from the researcher to make sure the patient is getting better and that their symptoms have improved. If the patient’s symptoms worsen or do not improve they can go back to their GP and will be given an alternative treatment. After day 28 the patient will receive a final phone call to finalise the study.

For more information

Researchers at the National University of Ireland, Galway are running this study and it is funded through the HRB Primary Care CTNI.

For more information on the SATIN study please email the SATIN team.