"Priming" hand hygiene compliance in clinical environments

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Title: "Priming" hand hygiene compliance in clinical environments
Authors: King, D
Vlaev, I
Everett-Thomas, R
Fitzpatrick, M
Darzi, A
Birnbach, DJ
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Effective hand hygiene is the single most important procedure in preventing hospital-acquired infections. Traditional information/education-based interventions have shown only modest benefits on compliance. This study set out to investigate whether priming via olfactory and visual cues influences hand hygiene compliance. Method: Randomized controlled trial set in a surgical intensive care unit (SICU) at a teaching hospital in Miami, Florida. The primary outcome data involved observations—a mix of health professionals and service users were observed entering the SICU by 2 trained observers and their hand hygiene compliance was independently verified. Interventions included either an olfactory prime (clean, citrus smell) or visual prime (male or female eyes). The primary outcome measure was hand hygiene compliance (HHC) measured by the visitor using the hand gel dispenser. Results: At a 5% level there was significant evidence that a clean, citrus smell significantly improves HHC (46.9% vs. 15.0%, p = .0001). Compared to the control group, a significant improvement in HHC was seen when a picture of “male eyes” was placed over the hand gel dispenser (33.3% vs. 15.0%, p < .038). No significant improvement in HHC was seen when a picture of female eyes was placed over the same hand gel dispenser (10.0% vs. 15.0%, p = .626). Conclusions: This is one of the first studies to demonstrate that priming can influence HHC in a clinical setting. The findings suggest that priming interventions could be used to change other behaviors relevant to public health
Issue Date: 31-Jan-2016
Date of Acceptance: 1-Jan-2016
ISSN: 1930-7810
Publisher: American Psychological Association
Start Page: 96
End Page: 101
Journal / Book Title: Health Psychology
Volume: 35
Issue: 1
Copyright Statement: © 2016 The Authors
Sponsor/Funder: National Institute for Health Research
Funder's Grant Number: NF-SI-0510-10186
Keywords: Social Sciences
Psychology, Clinical
behavior change
hand hygiene
Cross Infection
Hand Hygiene
Hospitals, Teaching
Infection Control
Intensive Care Units
Medical Staff, Hospital
Surgery Department, Hospital
Visitors to Patients
11 Medical And Health Sciences
13 Education
17 Psychology And Cognitive Sciences
Public Health
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Division of Surgery
Faculty of Medicine

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