Should researchers wash their hands of hand washing?

Apr 18, 2007

Despite the high profile given to hand washing in hospitals, there is still little robust evidence to show which are the best ways to improve hand hygiene.

Health care-associated infection is a major cause of illness and death, and effective hand hygiene is thought to be one of the best ways to prevent it.

A team of Cochrane Researchers therefore performed a systematic review to determine whether strategies to improve hand hygiene are effective.

Sadly they could only locate two trials that were worthy of consideration, and both were poorly controlled. The conclusion they could draw was that a single teaching session was unlikely to improve hand hygiene even in the short-term.

"We desperately need some good research that will begin to show which interventions can bring about change in people's behaviour that will lead to increased hand hygiene," says Dinah Gould, Cochrane Review Author, who works at the School of Nursing and Midwifery at City University, London.

"In addition to preventing unnecessary spread of disease, good hand hygiene is highly desirable on aesthetic grounds alone, it forms an important indicator of the quality of health care and should continue to be promoted in all clinical settings," says Gould.

Source: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Explore further: New technology that is revealing the science of chewing

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Smart bracelet uses RFID to bleep dirty hands

Mar 26, 2013

(Phys.org) —Hospital-skittish people are convinced they will leave the hospital far sicker than when they came in. While assured they are working on groundless fear, recent hospital-borne infections make ...

Researchers expose the human side of cybercrime

Apr 04, 2013

In a perfect world, a door could remain unlocked without evoking the curiosity of strangers and criminals. This not being the case, humans have developed sophisticated security systems and intrusion deterrents. ...

Mobile technology to fix hand pumps in Africa

Jun 11, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Thousands of families affected by the ongoing drought in East Africa are set to benefit from improved water supplies thanks to innovative mobile technology designed by Oxford University.

Recommended for you

Obese British man in court fight for surgery

Jul 11, 2011

A British man weighing 22 stone (139 kilograms, 306 pounds) launched a court appeal Monday against a decision to refuse him state-funded obesity surgery because he is not fat enough.

2008 crisis spurred rise in suicides in Europe

Jul 08, 2011

The financial crisis that began to hit Europe in mid-2008 reversed a steady, years-long fall in suicides among people of working age, according to a letter published on Friday by The Lancet.

New food labels dished up to keep Europe healthy

Jul 06, 2011

A groundbreaking deal on compulsory new food labels Wednesday is set to give Europeans clear information on the nutritional and energy content of products, as well as country of origin.

Overweight men have poorer sperm count

Jul 04, 2011

Overweight or obese men, like their female counterparts, have a lower chance of becoming a parent, according to a comparison of sperm quality presented at a European fertility meeting Monday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Low Vitamin D may not be a culprit in menopause symptoms

A new study from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) shows no significant connection between vitamin D levels and menopause symptoms. The study was published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopa ...

Astronomers: 'Tilt-a-worlds' could harbor life

A fluctuating tilt in a planet's orbit does not preclude the possibility of life, according to new research by astronomers at the University of Washington, Utah's Weber State University and NASA. In fact, ...