The effectiveness of educational interventions in university training on hospital hygiene: results of action research

M. Nobile, A. Agodi, M. Barchitta, S. Brusaferro, S. Castaldi, D. D'Alessandro, M. T. Montagna, I. Mura, S. Tardivo, M. V. Torregrossa, L. Zannini, C. Pasquarella, F. Auxilia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The Italian Study Group of Hospital Hygiene of the Italian Society of Hygiene, Preventive Medicine and Public Health promoted and conducted a study on teaching hospital hygiene, with particular reference to the prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections, with the aim of developing effective educational material starting from the results collected.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: First of all, a survey was carried out, targeting lecturers in hospital hygiene, with the purpose of investigating their perceptions regarding this issue. The available scientific literature was also reviewed in order to identify effective educational/teaching strategies for the prevention of healthcare-associated infections, so that valid training interventions could be subsequently developed. Finally, a trial-training intervention was implemented, and specific audio-visual teaching material was also tested.

RESULTS: The overall response rate to the survey was 42%, with good country-wide representativeness. The level of awareness of hospital hygiene issues by students resulted higher among trainee nurses (65%) than among medical students (44%). The teaching staff identified alternative educational methodologies to substitute the classical lecture (e.g.: case discussions) and, in most cases, the alternative solution appeared to be preferable. The teaching of hospital hygiene was better integrated with other disciplines and professional training activities in the degree courses for nurses than in those for doctors; the total number of hours assigned to such teaching was variable. The literature review highlighted that various educational approaches are used. The most common are presentations or lectures, but videos, posters, questionnaires and e-learning strategies are also used. Combining different instruments when designing an educational programme has proven to be an effective strategy. The training activity tested was positively evaluated by the participants; the possibility of multidisciplinary exchange of knowledge was particularly appreciated.

CONCLUSION: Having considered the issue of teaching hospital hygiene from the points of view of the different protagonists involved (educators and students), this enabled us to develop useful training material and a proposal for a shared educational intervention. The subject of hospital hygiene, in particular the one related to the prevention of healthcare-associated infections, is addressed in various courses and with different modalities; it is, therefore, important to standardize course contents and teaching methods, in order to facilitate multidisciplinary debate, especially starting from case studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-120
Number of pages10
JournalAnnali di igiene : medicina preventiva e di comunita
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2018


  • Education
  • Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs)
  • Teaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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