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Scholarly literature can be found in the WHO literature reviews, which are located in the full guidelines below and in the summary guidelines, both updated in 2009. You can access additional literature via the targeted review of the literature available in the Hand Hygiene Toolkit.

  • World Health Organization Home Page
  • WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care
  • WHO Guidelines: A summary
  • Boyce JM. It is time for action: improving hand hygiene in hospitals. Ann Intern Med 1999; 130:153 5.
    An editorial outlining the factors involved in poor hand hygiene compliance and recommended strategies for increasing adherence
  • Gould DJ, Chudleigh JH, Moralejo D, Drey N. Interventions to improve hand hygiene compliance in patient care. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007, Issue 2.
    The purpose of this review was to identify the strategies that had been successful in increasing hand hygiene compliance over time and its effect on the occurrence of health care infections
  • Hilburn J, Hammond BS, Fendler EJ, Groziak PA. Use of alcohol hand sanitizer as an infection control strategy in an acute care facility. Am J Infect Control. 2003 Apr;31(2):109-16.
    Supports the use of alcohol based hand sanitizer by correlating it’s usage to decreased infection rates
  • Larson E. Skin hygiene and infection prevention: more of the same or different approaches? Clin Infect Dis. 1999 Nov;29(5):1287-94.
    The purpose of this article is to review research indicating a link between hand hygiene and nosocomial infections and the effects of hand care practices on skin integrity. Clinical practice changes recommended include the use of waterless alcohol-based products and moisturizers
  • “More Evidence That hand Hygiene Really Works”, Freakonomics, December 28, 2006
    This article addresses some supporting evidence of hand hygiene’s impact on catheter infections
  • NOSEC: National Observation Study of the Effectiveness of the NHS cleanyourhands Campaign
  • Pashman, J., Bradley, E.H., Wang, H., Higa, B., Fu, M., & Dembry, L.M   Promotion of hand hygiene techniques through use of a surveillance tool.  Journal of Hospital Infection 2007; 66(3): 249-254. This article provides background and support to the Hand Hygiene Surveillance Instrument available in the Hand Hygiene Tool Kit.  Permission to reprint the tool for use provided by Dr. E.H. Bradley
  • Pittet D. Improving compliance with hand hygiene in hospitals. Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology. 2000; 21(6):381-386.
    A review of the reasons for poor compliance with hand washing amongst hospital staff with recommendations of a multimodal, multidisciplinary approach at the individual, group, and institutional levels
  • Pittet D. Improving adherence to hand hygiene practice: a multidisciplinary approach. Emerg Infect Dis. 2001 Mar-Apr;7(2):234-40.
    Alcohol- based hand rubs may be better than traditional hand washing as they require less time, act faster, are less irritating, and contribute to sustained improvement in compliance associated with decreased infection rates. This article reviews barriers to appropriate hand hygiene and risk factors for noncompliance and proposes strategies for promoting hand hygiene