Structured vs. unstructured hand-washing techniques — which is more effective for removing C. diff?

A study, published in the American Journal of Infection Control, examined the efficacy of the structured World Health Organization–recommended hand-washing technique to remove Clostridium difficile from hands.

Researchers conducted a prospective comparison of three hand-washing techniques —unstructured, WHO-recommended and a novel technique, called the WHO shortened repeated technique to remove C. diff. The study included 10 participants who performed each technique. Their hands were contaminated with a nontoxigenic strain containing 90 percent C. diff spores

The median effectiveness of the unstructured, WHO and WHO-SR techniques in log10 colony forming unit reduction was 1.30, 1.71 and 1.70, respectively.

The study shows washing hands with a structured technique was more effective than washing with an unstructured technique. Additionally, the WHO-SR technique was significantly more effective than the unstructured technique.

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