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© 2016 British Journal of General Practice. Background : The added diagnostic utility of nappy pad urine samples and the proportion that are contaminated is unknown. Aim : To develop a clinical prediction rule for the diagnosis of urinary tract infection (UTI) based on sampling using the nappy pad method. Design and setting : Acutely unwell children <5 years presenting to 233 UK primary care sites. Method : Logistic regression to identify independent associations of symptoms, signs, and urine dipstick test results with UTI; diagnostic utility quantified as area under the receiver operator curves (AUROC). Nappy pad rule characteristics, AUROC, and contamination, compared with findings from clean-catch samples. Results : Nappy pad samples were obtained from 3205 children (82% aged <2 years; 48% female), culture results were available for 2277 (71.0%) and 30 (1.3%) had a UTI on culture. Female sex, smelly urine, darker urine, and the absence of nappy rash were independently associated with a UTI, with an internally-validated, coefficient model AUROC of 0.81 (0.87 for clean-catch), which increased to 0.87 (0.90 for clean-catch) with the addition of dipstick results. GPs' 'working diagnosis' had an AUROC 0.63 (95% confidence intervals [CI] = 0.53 to 0.72). A total of 12.2% of nappy pad and 1.8% of cleancatch samples were 'frankly contaminated' (risk ratio 6.66; 95% CI = 4.95 to 8.96; P<0.001). Conclusion : Nappy pad urine culture results, with features that can be reported by parents and dipstick tests, can be clinically useful, but are less accurate and more often contaminated compared with clean-catch urine culture.

Original publication




Journal article


British Journal of General Practice

Publication Date





e516 - e524