Table 1.

Factors mentioned by GPs in open and closed questions that would prompt them to send a stool sample for microbiological investigation (n = 471)

History, symptom, or signOpen question (n = 471)Closed question (n = 472)
Free text answers, %Tick box answers, %
Persistent diarrhoea8785
Recent foreign travel8187
Blood or pus in stools6882
Patient systemically unwell4363
Post antibiotics and hospitalisation3181
Occupation: food/care/home/school/farm21NA
Severity or pain17NA
Possible outbreak14NA
Contact with notifiable disease7NA
Acute painful, bloody diarrhoea in children673
Farm visit3NA
To reassure patient231
Cause suggests infection2NA
Suspected food poisoning2774
To determine if specific treatment is neededNA54
  • NA = Not applicable as not mentioned by GPs in the open question or not listed in the closed question.