Hand-Washing Video Improves Hygiene

Picture: A peadiatric intensive care unit

Infection rates are high in paediatric
intensive care units; © SXC

Researchers monitored visits by 123 families to see how they could improve hygiene and reduce hospital acquired infections like MRSA, which are a major cause of ill health and death among children in intensive care.

“Research has shown that hospital acquired infections occur in about ten percent of patients on general hospital wards, but that children on paediatric intensive care units have a 20 to 30 percent chance of becoming infected” says nurse researcher Dr Li-Chi Chiang from the China Medical University in Taiwan.

For the first two months, 62 families were shown posters illustrating hand-washing techniques and discussed the ten key steps involved with staff. During the second two months, 61 different families were shown a hand-washing video and took part in the same discussions with staff.

The groups, which included parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, were then observed during subsequent visits to the unit in Taiwan, which cares for about 30 children each month. “Both groups significantly improved their hand-washing behaviour, but the video initiative proved much more effective” says Dr Chiang. “When we marked each group on a scale of zero to ten, we found that in both groups compliance increased with each of the five visits monitored after guidance was provided.

“The video group started with an average score of 7.0 the first time we observed them and this rose to 8.6 by the fifth visit. The poster group were much less efficient at hand washing, starting at 4.7 and rising to 5.9. Both the groups had similar profiles and education levels and the researchers took part in the initial viewing and discussion sessions to ensure consistency. There was also a 20-day gap between the groups to ensure that families only took part in one training initiative.”

MEDICA.de; Source: Blackwell Publishing