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Effectiveness of Multifaceted Hand Hygiene Interventions in Long-Term Care Facilities in Hong Kong: A Cluster-Randomized Controlled Trial

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

Mei-lin Ho*
Infection Control Branch, Centre for Health Protection, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), China
Wing-hong Seto
World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Infection Control, Hospital Authority, Hong Kong SAR, China
Lai-chin Wong
Infection Control Branch, Centre for Health Protection, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), China
Tin-yau Wong
Infection Control Branch, Centre for Health Protection, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), China
Infection Control Branch, Centre for Health Protection, G/F, 147C Argyle Street, Kowloon, Hong Kong SAR, China (



To determine the effectiveness of World Health Organization (WHO) multimodal strategy in promoting hand hygiene (HH) among healthcare workers (HCWs) in long-term care facilities (LTCFs).


Cluster-randomized controlled trial.


Eighteen homes for the elderly in Hong Kong were randomly allocated to 2 intervention arms and a control arm. Direct observation of HH practice was conducted by trained nurses. Either handrubbing with alcohol-based handrub (ABHR) or handwashing with liquid soap and water was counted as a compliant action. Disease notification data during 2007–2010 were used to calculate incidence rate ratio (IRR).


Managers and HCWs of the participating homes.


The WHO multimodal strategy was employed. All intervention homes were supplied with ABHR (WHO formulation I), ABHR racks, pull reels, HH posters and reminders, a health talk, video clips, training materials, and performance feedback. The only difference was that intervention arms 1 and 2 were provided with slightly powdered and powderless gloves, respectively.


A total of 11,669 HH opportunities were observed. HH compliance increased from 27.0% to 60.6% and from 22.2% to 48.6% in intervention arms 1 and 2, respectively. Both intervention arms showed increased HH compliance after intervention compared to controls, at 21.6% compliance (both P < .001). Provision of slightly powdered versus powderless gloves did not have any significant impact on ABHR usage. Respiratory outbreaks (IRR, 0.12; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.01–0.93; P = .04) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections requiring hospital admission (IRR, 0.61; 95% CI, 0.38–0.97; P = .04) were reduced after intervention.


A promotion program applying the WHO multimodal strategy was effective in improving HH among HCWs in LTCFs.

Original Article
Copyright © The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America 2012

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