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The Effects of an Online Training Course on Health Professionals’ Knowledge of Urinary Tract Infection Prevention

Objective: This study will examine whether an online training approach involving hand hygiene training, infection control and urinary tract infection (UTI) prevention will significantly improve learner’s knowledge of infection control, urinary tract infection prevention, and improve facility UTI rates. Further, it will examine whether an additional maintenance intervention (including posters, pamphlets, and a skills checklist) can additionally reduce facility UTI rates.

Background: Nursing facility acquired UTI’s are undergoing increased scrutiny of late. A recent CMS-sponsored study indicates that UTIs are generally preventable and manageable in the nursing home setting with proper preventative measures and early detection. Proper hand hygiene, and perineal and catheter care can lead to reduced risk of UTI’s (Allegranzi & Pettit, 2009, Tenke, Koves, & Johansen, 2014), while early detection of symptoms, especially atypical symptoms more common in older adults and long term care residents (Rowe & Juthani-Mehta, 2014), can lead to better management and treatment. Further, reminder systems such as skills checklists with supervisors and posters may help reinforce the knowledge gained in the courses, leading to better retention and improvement of outcomes. The current study will investigate if an online training intervention can improve health professional’s knowledge of infection control and UTI prevention, and reduce facility UTI rates.

Methods: A pre-post design will be used with a two intervention groups and a control group. For 6 months prior to intervention, data will be collected on baseline facility UTI rates. After baseline, participating health care professionals will complete a pre-test where they will complete scenario and knowledge-based questions regarding proper hand hygiene, infection control, and UTI prevention. After the pretest, the course-only intervention group will complete the online interactive training that provides instruction in proper hand hygiene, infection control, proper perineal and catheter care, and UTI prevention techniques. The courses-plus intervention group will complete the same online courses, as well as a handwashing skills checklist, and the administrators will post posters and help with the handing out of pamphlets. The control group will complete not additional training. After the training or a 1 month delay, all three groups will repeat the questions completed at pre-test. Data on facility UTI rates will continue to be collected for 6 months after post-test. Study results will be analyzed using a repeated measures analysis of variance to determine the change in the dependent variables between pre and post-test between groups.


Allegranzi, B., & Pittet, D. 2009. Role of hand hygiene in healthcare-associated infection prevention. Journal of Hospital Prevention, 73, 305-315.

Rowe, T. A., & Juthani-Mehta, M. 2014. Diagnosis and management of urinary tract infections in older adults. Infectious Disease Clinics of North America, 28(1), 75-89.

Tenke, P., Koves, B., & Johansen, T. E. B. 2014. An update on prevention and treatment of catheter-associated urinary tract infections. Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases, 27, 102-107.