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

Carmel Hughes, M.B.H. Smith, Michael Tunney, Marie Bradley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: 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 control strategies are important in preventing and controlling MRSA transmission.

Objectives: The objective of this review was to determine the effects of infection control strategies for preventing the transmission of MRSA in nursing homes for older people.

Search strategy: We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL, The Cochrane Library 2009, Issue 2), the Cochrane Wounds Group Specialised Register (searched May 29th, 2009). We also searched MEDLINE (from 1950 to May Week 4 2009), Ovid EMBASE (1980 to 2009 Week 21), EBSCO CINAHL (1982 to May Week 4 2009), British Nursing Index (1985 to May 2009), DARE (1992 to May 2009), Web of Science (1981 to May 2009), and the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) website (1988 to May 2009). Research in progress was sought through Current Clinical Trials (www.controlled-trials.com), Medical Research Council Research portfolio, and HSRPRoj (current USA projects). SIGLE was also searched in order to identify atypical material which was not accessible through more conventional sources.

Selection criteria: All randomised and controlled clinical trials, controlled before and after studies and interrupted time series studies of infection control interventions in nursing homes for older people were eligible for inclusion.

Data collection and analysis: Two authors independently reviewed the results of the searches.

Main results: Since no studies met the selection criteria, neither a meta-analysis nor a narrative description of studies was possible.

Authors' conclusions: The lack of studies in this field is surprising. Nursing homes for older people provide an environment likely to promote the acquisition and spread of infection, with observational studies repeatedly reporting that being a resident of a nursing home increases the risk of MRSA colonisation. Much of the evidence for recently-issued United Kingdom guidelines for the control and prevention of MRSA in health care facilities was generated in the acute care setting. It may not be possible to transfer such strategies directly to the nursing home environment, which serves as both a healthcare setting and a resident's home. Rigorous studies should be conducted in nursing homes, to test interventions that have been specifically designed for this unique environment.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCochrane database of systematic reviews (Online)
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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