Menu Close

Effect of Hand Hygiene on Infectious Disease Risk in the Community Setting: A Meta-Analysis

Citation

Aiello, Allison E.; Coulborn, Rebecca M.; Perez, Vanessa; & Larson, Elaine L. (2008). Effect of Hand Hygiene on Infectious Disease Risk in the Community Setting: A Meta-Analysis. American Journal of Public Health, 98(8), 1372-1381. PMCID: PMC2446461

Abstract

To quantify the effect of hand-hygiene interventions on rates of gastrointestinal and respiratory illnesses and to identify interventions that provide the greatest efficacy, we searched 4 electronic databases for hand-hygiene trials published from January 1960 through May 2007 and conducted meta-analyses to generate pooled rate ratios across interventions (N=30 studies). Improvements in hand hygiene resulted in reductions in gastrointestinal illness of 31% (95% confidence intervals [CI]=19%, 42%) and reductions in respiratory illness of 21% (95% CI=5%, 34%). The most beneficial intervention was hand-hygiene education with use of nonantibacterial soap. Use of antibacterial soap showed little added benefit compared with use of nonantibacterial soap. Hand hygiene is clearly effective against gastrointestinal and, to a lesser extent, respiratory infections. Studies examining hygiene practices during respiratory illness and interventions targeting aerosol transmission are needed.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.2105/ajph.2007.124610

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2008

Journal Title

American Journal of Public Health

Author(s)

Aiello, Allison E.
Coulborn, Rebecca M.
Perez, Vanessa
Larson, Elaine L.

PMCID

PMC2446461