Does education alone improve handwashing compliance among healthcare workers in a hospital setting?
According to the study that I discuss below, the short answer to the above question appears to be no.
However, this study has adopted a before-after intervention design without a control group. The more accurate interpretation should be that education/feedback intervention alone is inadequate to improve handwashing compliance significantly.
|Two ICUs and one general medical ward in a US hospital
|All healthcare workers
|Before-after intervention /observational study
|Six in-service education/feedback intervention per each
|Main outcome measure
|Direct observation of handwashing randomized for the
time of the day and bed location
|No statistically significant change in handwashing rates
|The introduction of education/feedback was not associated with significant higher rates of handwashing compliance.
|April 10, 2000, JAMA NETWORK; https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/485276?resultClick=1
|free access to the full article
This was only one component of a bigger study in which alcohol-based hand sanitizer was introduced. It came out with a statistically significant improvement in compliance. I discussed it in another post.
Furthermore, a systematic review of 19 systematic reviews of hand hygiene compliance found that the interventions that address social influence, attitudes, self-efficacy, and intentions improve compliance significantly. In other words, the interventions should be grounded on behavior change theories.