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Lack of evidence that hand washing is observed in primary care, says study

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There is lack of evidence that sufficient hand washing procedures are being carried out in primary care trusts, according to a study.

Researchers searched through medical journals looking for studies assessing whether hand washing was occurring in primary care in the UK.

Key words used in the search included hand washing, hand cleansing, hand hygiene, hand decontamination and primary care.

They found that hand washing and hand cleansing are strongly promoted, yet evidence for current hand washing policy is weak, authors said.

Authors wrote: ‘Furthermore, current guidelines are based on expert opinion with little
robust evidence of efficacy in primary care.

There is an urgent need to undertake methodologically sound studies of handwashing techniques for use in the ever expanding scope primary care practice.’

Journal of Clinical Nursing (2009) 18:786-790

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