Randomised controlled studies (RCTs), controlled before-and-after studies and interrupted time series analyses that included an educational intervention for healthcare personnel for prevention of HCAIs were eligible for inclusion. Three HCAIs were considered: catheter-related bloodstream infections (CRBSI); ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP); and catheter associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs). The primary outcome was the incidence of at least one of these HCAIs; studies that did not report incidence of infection as an outcome were excluded.
Most of the included studies were conducted in intensive care units; studies were also undertaken in hospital wards, long-term care facilities or hospital-wide. Personnel who received interventions included nurses, nursing staff, respiratory therapy nursing staff and physicians as well as staff or healthcare workers who were not identified. The most commonly used educational interventions comprised lectures, classes, video presentations, posters, questionnaires, fact sheets and practical demonstrations; for most studies the duration of interventions ranged from one day to eight months. Most studies assessed adult patient populations; a fifth of the studies included a paediatric population. Most studies were undertaken in USA; studies were also conducted in Canada, Switzerland, Argentina, Brazil, Taiwan, Pakistan and Thailand.
The authors stated neither how studies were selected for the review nor how many reviewers performed the selection.