An educational video has encouraged people visiting children in hospital to wash their hands, research shows.
Scientists monitored the visits made by 123 families to their young relatives on a Paediatric Intensive Care Unit to monitor the spread of infections like MRSA.
“Research has shown that hospital acquired infections occur in about 10% of patients on general hospital wards, but that children on paediatric intensive care units have a 20 to 30% chance of becoming infected,” says nurse researcher Li-Chi Chiang at China Medical University in Taiwan.
The researchers studied a group of 61 families who were shown a hand washing video and a second group of 62 families who were given hygiene posters.
Both groups improved their handwashing techniques, but the group who watched the video presentation proved to be much more efficient.
Chiang and colleagues argue that videos are a simple means of reducing infection rates in a low-cost and efficient manner.
“The video can be shown repeatedly in areas such as intensive care unit waiting rooms and hospital staff can be trained to reinforce the information in the video when interacting with visitors,” says Chiang.
Roger Watson, Editor of the Journal of Clinical Nursing, says: “It is clear from international research that this picture is being repeated in healthare settings worldwide.
“Hospital acquired infections continue to rise at an alarming rate and urgent steps are needed to halt their spread.”