Are antibiotics effective in preventing pneumonia for nursing home patients?
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Antibiotics should not be used for prophylaxis of pneumonia in nursing homes. We found no studies testing the effectiveness of antibiotics in preventing pneumonia in any population, including persons with predisposing conditions such as influenza. Three measures effectively prevent pneumonia in nursing home patients: influenza vaccination of residents (strength of recommendation [SOR]: B, based on systematic review of homogenous cohort observational studies); influenza vaccination of caregivers (SOR: B, based on individual randomized controlled trial); pneumococcal vaccination of residents (SOR: B, based on randomized, nonblinded clinical trials and consistent case-control studies). Two other suggested interventions have not been extensively tested: antiviral chemoprophylaxis during an influenza outbreak in the nursing home, and oral hygiene programs for nursing home residents.
Journal of Family Practice, 53(12) 2004: 994-996.