Infection control strategies for preventing the transmission of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in nursing homes for older people.

Research paper by Carmel C Hughes, Michael M Smith, Michael M Tunney, Marie C MC Bradley

Indexed on: 14 Dec '11Published on: 14 Dec '11Published in: The Cochrane database of systematic reviews


Nursing homes for older people provide an environment likely to promote the acquisition and spread of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), putting residents at increased risk of colonisation and infection. It is recognised that infection prevention and control strategies are important in preventing and controlling MRSA transmission.To determine the effects of infection prevention and control strategies for preventing the transmission of MRSA in nursing homes for older people.We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL, The Cochrane Library 2011, Issue 2), the Cochrane Wounds Group Specialised Register (searched May 27th, 2011). We also searched Ovid MEDLINE (from 1950 to April Week 2 2011), OVID MEDLINE (In-process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, April 26th 2011) Ovid EMBASE (1980 to 2011 Week 16), EBSCO CINAHL (1982 to April 21st 2011), DARE (1992 to 2011, week 16), Web of Science (1981 to May 2011), and the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) website (1988 to May 2011). Research in progress was sought through Current Clinical Trials (www.controlled-trials.com), Medical Research Council Research portfolio, and HSRPRoj (current USA projects).All randomised and controlled clinical trials, controlled before and after studies and interrupted time series studies of infection prevention and control interventions in nursing homes for older people were eligible for inclusion.Two review authors independently reviewed the results of the searches. Another review author appraised identified papers and undertook data extraction which was checked by a second review author.For this second update only one study was identified, therefore it was not possible to undertake a meta-analysis. A cluster randomised controlled trial in 32 nursing homes evaluated the effect of an infection control education and training programme on MRSA prevalence. The primary outcome was MRSA prevalence in residents and staff, and a change in infection control audit scores which measured adherence to infection control standards. At the end of the 12 month study, there was no change in MRSA prevalence between intervention and control sites, while mean infection control audit scores were significantly higher in the intervention homes compared with control homes.There is a lack of research evaluating the effects on MRSA transmission of infection prevention and control strategies in nursing homes. Rigorous studies should be conducted in nursing homes, to test interventions that have been specifically designed for this unique environment.