Researchers collaborate with WHO to develop new infection prevention and control guidelines

01 November 2017

Researchers collaborate with WHO to develop new infection prevention and control guidelines

A Glasgow Caledonian University research team has contributed to World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines on infection control and prevention to help minimise the spread of infection.

The research findings will provide direction for international guidance which will shape global action to prevent and control healthcare associated infections and contain antimicrobial resistance.

Infections associated with healthcare delivery are a major problem for global health causing serious harm to patients.

One in ten patients, at any one time, has an infection while receiving healthcare and the WHO has introduced new global guidelines in an effort to minimise this spread of infection. Healthcare associated infections affect millions of patients worldwide every year and, in Europe, it is estimated 80,000 patients per day have at least one healthcare associated infection.

In collaboration with WHO, the Safeguarding Health through Infection Prevention (SHIP) Research Group, led by Dr Lesley Price and Professor Jacqui Reilly, undertook a systematic review of the evidence, at a national and sub-national level, of the effectiveness of infection prevention and control interventions.

A total of twenty-nine studies meeting the evidence criteria were analysed from countries worldwide including USA, England, Brazil, Hong Kong, Australia, Germany, which were published over a 17-year period from 2000 to 2017.

The researchers presented this work to a panel of global infection prevention and control experts who developed the first international evidence based guidelines. These guidelines will now be disseminated with support to be implemented worldwide in an effort to take global action to maximise the prevention of healthcare associated infections and reduce antimicrobial resistance.

Dr Price said: “I am delighted that the SHIP research group has been able to contribute to these important guidelines. They form a part of WHO strategies to prevent current and future threats from infections, contain antimicrobial resistance, improve the quality of healthcare worldwide and contribute to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations which form the backbone of research aims at Glasgow Caledonian University.”

This is the first systematic review which evaluates infection prevention control interventions to guide the implementation of an effective national programme.

The researchers have called for urgent improvements in the use of study designs in infection prevention control research and the reporting of research. They also identify a need for evidence from low-income countries to strengthen the uptake and international relevance of infection prevention control interventions.

The guidelines are available here.                                                                                                                                    

The systematic review is published in the Lancet Infectious Diseases today and can be accessed here.

 

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