Aims and objectives: To investigate the incidence of urinary tract infection and analyse its risk factors among hospitalised patients with spinal cord injury. Background: While the incidence of urinary tract infection varies widely according to the healthcare setting and patients’ clinical characteristics, formal reports are limited in quantity. There has been no consensus regarding the risk factors for urinary tract infection. Design: A retrospective descriptive study. Methods: Electronic medical records of 964 subjects between 2010–2017 were reviewed. Urinary tract infection status was examined to identify newly occurred cases. Data included demographic and clinical characteristics, hydration status and length of hospitalisation. The reporting of the study followed the EQUATOR Network's STROBE checklist. Results: Of the sample, 31.7% had urinary tract infection (95% confidence interval: 1.288 to 1.347, p <.001). Sex, completeness of injury, type of bladder emptying, detrusor function and urethral pressure were significant factors affecting urinary tract infection. Patients who were male and those with injury classifications A, B and C had higher risk of urinary tract infection. Patients with urinary or suprapubic indwelling catheters, as well as those with areflexic detrusor combined with normotonic urethral pressure or overactive detrusor combined with normotonic urethral pressure, showed higher risk. Length of hospitalisation in patients with urinary tract infection was greater than that in uninfected patients, which implies the importance of prevention of urinary tract infection. Conclusions: Nurses should carefully assess risk factors to prevent urinary tract infection in patients with spinal cord injury in the acute and sub-acute stages of the disease trajectory and provide individualised nursing care. Relevance to clinical practice: This study contributes evidence for up-to-date clinical nursing practice for the comprehensive management of urinary tract infection. This can lead to improvements in nursing care quality and patient outcomes, including length of hospitalisation.
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