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Effectiveness of alcoholic hand disinfectants in a public administration
DOI 10.1186/ISRCTN96340690
ClinicalTrials.gov identifier
EudraCT number
Public title Effectiveness of alcoholic hand disinfectants in a public administration
Scientific title Effectiveness of alcoholic hand disinfectants in a public administration: impact on health and work performance related to acute respiratory symptoms and diarrhoea
Acronym N/A
Serial number at source N/A
Study hypothesis Large community studies in Europe and USA have shown that communicable diseases have a great impact on morbidity and lead to millions of lost days at work, school and university each year. Hand disinfection is acknowledged as key element for infection control, but its effect in open, work place settings is unclear. Our study assessed the epidemiological and economical impact of alcoholic hand disinfectants use at work place.
Lay summary
Ethics approval Ethics Board of the Medical Faculty of the University of Greifswald approved on the 27th January 2010 (ref: BB02/10)
Study design Prospective controlled intervention-control group design
Countries of recruitment Germany
Disease/condition/study domain Acute respiratory symptoms, diarrhoea
Participants - inclusion criteria We recruited employees from the administration of the Ernst Moritz Arndt University Greifswald, the municipality of Greifswald and the state of Mecklenburg-Pomerania, for the study. All administrative officers, who do not already apply hand disinfection at work, were considered for participation.
Participants - exclusion criteria Officers who already use alcoholic hand disinfection
Anticipated start date 01/03/2005
Anticipated end date 01/04/2006
Status of trial Completed
Patient information material Not available in web format, please use the contact details below to request a patient information sheet
Target number of participants 850
Interventions Participants in the intervention group were instructed how to use the hand rub and advised to use it at least five times daily, especially after toilet use, blowing nose, before eating and after contact with ill colleges, customers, and archive material. The hand rub was only used at work, while hand hygiene at home was not changed. Hand hygiene remained unchanged in the control group. During the study, close contact was maintained with all participants.

Every participant was observed for 12 months.
Primary outcome measure(s) Monthly surveys were sent to participants of both groups collecting data on illness symptoms (common cold, sinusitis, sore throat, fever, cough, bronchitis, pneumonia, influenza, diarrhoea) and associated absenteeism. Test persons reported illness and absenteeism days per month for each symptom. Appearance of at least one day ill was counted as an illness episode for the current month.
Secondary outcome measure(s) Participants filled out a post-study survey to assess post-intervention compliance with hand hygiene.
Sources of funding Bode Chemie GmbH (Germany) - provided hand disinfectant free of charge
Trial website
Contact name Dr  Nils-Olaf  Hübner
  Address Rathenaustr. 49a
  City/town Greifswald
  Zip/Postcode 17489
  Country Germany
  Email nhuebner@uni-greifswald.de
Sponsor Bode Chemie GmbH (Germany)
  Address Melanchthonstrasse 27
  City/town Hamburg
  Zip/Postcode 22525
  Country Germany
  Email guenter.kampf@bode-chemie.de
  Sponsor website: http://www.bode-chemie.de/
Date applied 23/03/2010
Last edited 12/04/2010
Date ISRCTN assigned 12/04/2010
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