1 – Trop Med Int Health. 2017 Feb 28. doi: 10.1111/tmi.12861. [Epub ahead of print]
Does targeting children with hygiene promotion messages work? The effect of handwashing promotion targeted at children, on diarrhoea, soil-transmitted helminth infections and behaviour change, in low- and middle-income countries.
OBJECTIVES: To synthesise evidence on the effect of handwashing promotion interventions targeting children, on diarrhoea, soil-transmitted helminth infection and handwashing behaviour, in low and middle income country settings.
RESULTS: Eight studies were included in this review: seven cluster-randomised controlled trials and one cluster non-randomised controlled trial. All eight studies targeted children aged 5-12 attending primary school but were heterogeneous for both the type of intervention and the reported outcomes so results were synthesised qualitatively. None of the studies were of high quality and the large majority were at high risk of bias. The reported effect of child-targeted handwashing interventions on our outcomes of interest varied between studies. Of the different interventions reported, no one approach to promoting handwashing among children appeared most effective.
CONCLUSION: Our review found very few studies that evaluated handwashing interventions targeting children and all had various methodological limitations. It is plausible that interventions which succeed in changing children’s handwashing practices will lead to significant health impacts given that much of the attributable disease burden is concentrated in that age group. The current paucity of evidence in this area however does not permit any recommendations to be made as to the most effective route to increasing handwashing with soap practice among children in LMIC. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
2 – Am J Infect Control. 2017 Feb 24. pii: S0196-6553(17)30041-X. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2017.01.018. [Epub ahead of print]
The effect of hand-hygiene interventions on infectious disease-associated absenteeism in elementary schools: A systematic literature review.
BACKGROUND: Hand-hygiene interventions are widely used in schools but their effect on reducing absenteeism is not well known.
RESULTS: Our review indicated evidence is available to show hand-hygiene interventions had an effect on reducing acute gastrointestinal illness-associated absenteeism but inadequate evidence is available to show an effect on respiratory illness-associated absenteeism.
CONCLUSIONS: The methodologic quality assessment of eligible studies revealed common design flaws, such as lack of randomization, blinding, and attrition, which must be addressed in future studies to strengthen the evidence base on the effect of hand-hygiene interventions on school absenteeism.