Evidence for hand hygiene promotion during outbreaks of respiratory infections

15/10/21

Today is Global Handwashing Day, the ideal moment to highlight our most recent publication “The effect of hand hygiene promotion programs during epidemics and pandemics of respiratory droplet-transmissible infections on health outcomes: a rapid systematic review”. The quickly evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic has put pressure on formulating evidence-based recommendations. To quickly identify the best available evidence, CEBaP has developed a “rapid systematic review” to search for studies on the effectiveness of community-based hand hygiene promotion programs on the transmission of respiratory infections during an epidemic or pandemic.

Since the review was conducted early on in the pandemic (April-May 2020), limited evidence from controlled studies was available for COVID-19, and therefore studies of similar infections, such as influenza, were also included. Twelve studies were identified, which were conducted in households, schools and the occupational setting. Hand hygiene promotion was achieved via a training or via the dissemination of leaflets, posters or videos. All studies were conducted during an influenza epidemic or interepidemic period. No studies on COVID-19 were identified, although we found an interesting protocol for a randomized controlled trial that will measure the effect of the promotion of proper COVID-19 hand hygiene practices. In our current review we could conclude that preventive hand hygiene promotion interventions in interepidemic periods significantly decreased influenza positive cases in the school setting. However, no improvement could be demonstrated when hand washing promotion is being implemented in households to prevent secondary influenza transmission from already infected household members (epidemic and interepidemic periods). Main message for hand washing promotion: the earlier, the better!

×

      The CEBaP website use cookies to help make your visit as smooth as possible. We install necessary and technical cookies to ensure the websites run properly. We also use analytical and advertising cookies to measure and improve the general use of the websites. Indicate below whether you agree to this cookie policy in order to continue.

          These necessary cookies ensure all parts of the website work properly. We can install these cookies without permission. By continuing to use our websites, you agree to the use of the necessary cookies.

          We use cookies for functional purposes. This means that these cookies are necessary for the proper functioning of our websites. These cookies identify and store your preferences (including language) and record whether you have accepted cookies. 

          We use cookies for analytical purposes. These cookies gather information on the technical details of the exchange or the use of the website (pages visited, average length of visit etc.) in order to improve the site’s operation. We use Google Analytics for this (in accordance with the Google Analytics Terms of Use: https://www.google.com/analytics/terms/us.html).

          We use cookies for advertising. These cookies provide us with statistics (which cannot be traced to individual users) to improve our online communications and recruitment for our activities through various channels and to tailor our service to your needs. By accepting these cookies, you also accept the use of the Facebook pixel.