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Helping hands: A cluster randomised trial to evaluate the effectiveness of two different strategies for promoting hand hygiene in hospital nurses

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Author(s): Huis Anita | Schoonhoven Lisette | Grol Richard | Borm George | Adang Eddy | Hulscher Marlies | van Achterberg Theo

Journal: Implementation Science
ISSN 1748-5908

Volume: 6;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 101;
Date: 2011;
Original page

ABSTRACT
Abstract Background Hand hygiene prescriptions are the most important measure in the prevention of hospital-acquired infections. Yet, compliance rates are generally below 50% of all opportunities for hand hygiene. This study aims at evaluating the short- and long-term effects of two different strategies for promoting hand hygiene in hospital nurses. Methods/design This study is a cluster randomised controlled trial with inpatient wards as the unit of randomisation. Guidelines for hand hygiene will be implemented in this study. Two strategies will be used to improve the adherence to guidelines for hand hygiene. The state-of-the-art strategy is derived from the literature and includes education, reminders, feedback, and targeting adequate products and facilities. The extended strategy also contains activities aimed at influencing social influence in groups and enhancing leadership. The unique contribution of the extended strategy is built upon relevant behavioural science theories. The extended strategy includes all elements of the state-of-the-art strategy supplemented with gaining active commitment and initiative of ward management, modelling by informal leaders at the ward, and setting norms and targets within the team. Data will be collected at four points in time, with six-month intervals. An average of 3,000 opportunities for hand hygiene in approximately 900 nurses will be observed at each time point. Discussion Performing and evaluating an implementation strategy that also targets the social context of teams may considerably add to the general body of knowledge in this field. Results from our study will allow us to draw conclusions on the effects of different strategies for the implementation of hand hygiene guidelines, and based on these results we will be able to define a preferred implementation strategy for hospital based nursing. Trial registration The study is registered as a Clinical Trial in ClinicalTrials.gov, dossier number: NCT00548015.
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