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Background and aims

Few studies have reported the correlation between hand hygiene (HH) practices and infection rates in Saudi Arabia. This work was aimed to study the effect of a multicomponent HH intervention strategy in improving HH compliance and reducing infection rates at King Fahd Hospital of the University, Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia between January 2014 and December 2016.


A yearlong multicomponent HH intervention, which included various strategies recommended by the World Health Organization, was introduced. HH compliance among staff and infection rates observed in the inpatient wards were assessed and compared at pre- and post-interventional phases.


There was a significant increase in mean HH compliance from 50.17% to 71.75% after the intervention (P < 0.05). Hospital-acquired infection (HAI) and catheter-associated urinary tract infection (CAUTI) rates decreased from 3.37 to 2.59 and from 3.73 to 1.75, respectively (P < 0.05). HH compliance was found to be negatively correlated with HAI (r = −0.278) and CAUTI (r = −0.523) rates.


Results show that multicomponent intervention is effective in improving HH compliance, and that an increase in HH compliance among hospital staff decreases infection rates. Further studies on cost-effectiveness of such a model could augment to these findings.

Open access