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Table 1 Characteristics of studies included in the systematic review, demographics and descriptive statistics

From: A systematic review of the effectiveness of antimicrobial rinse-free hand sanitizers for prevention of illness-related absenteeism in elementary school children

Author(s), Year, and Country Source of Funding Study Population Definition Illness-related Absenteeism Unit of analysis Study Duration Intervention Arm Control Arm
Cluster Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs)
White 41 2001 United States Industry (Woodward Laboratories, Inc.) 1 private and 2 public elementary schools grades K-6; 72 initial classes (n = 1626 students) *
Target group:
• 16 classes, n = 388 students
Control group:
• 16 classes, n = 381 students
• GI or respiratory-related
• Parents reported events
Grouped by classroom 5 weeks • Education: presentation and video describing germs and proper handwashing techniques (1 hr session)
• Large involvement of both parents and school staff
• Each child received 1-oz bottle of SAB (CleanHands®) (alcohol-free) instant hand sanitizer
• Instructed to use spray under teacher supervision to supplement handwashing
• Education: presentation and video describing germs and proper handwashing techniques (1 hr session)
• Large involvement of both parents and school staff
• Each child received 1-oz bottle of placebo formulation
• Instructed to use spray under teacher supervision to supplement handwashing
Crossover
Dyer 27 2000 United States Industry (Woodward Laboratories, Inc.) Private elementary school (K-6); 2 classrooms per grade level, n = 30 students per classroom
Target group:
• Children grades K-6
• 1 classroom per grade level
• n = 210 students
Control group:
• Children grades K-6
• 1 classroom per grade level
• n = 210 students
• GI (symptoms including vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea)
• Respiratory-related (symptoms included cough, sneezing, sinus trouble, bronchitis, fever alone, pink eye, headache, mononucleosis, and acute exacerbation of asthma)
• Parents reported events
Grouped by classroom 10 weeks (4 weeks first arm, 2 week washout period, 4 weeks second arm) • Education: presentation and video describing germs and proper handwashing techniques (1 hr session)
• Each child received 1-oz bottle of SAB (CleanHands®) (alcohol-free) instant hand sanitizer
• Instructed to use spray under teacher supervision to supplement handwashing
• Education: presentation and video describing germs and proper handwashing techniques (1 hr session)
• Instructed to wash hands as usual
Morton 16 2004 United States Maine Administrative School District #35 in Eliot, and South Berwick, Maine; Erie Scientific donated AlcoSCRUB® 1 elementary school in northern New England, grades K-3; 17 classrooms and n = 285 students eligible
PHASE 1:
Target group:
• 9 classrooms
Control group:
• 8 classrooms
• PHASE 2:
• reversed
• GI (symptoms including influenza, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting (with or without fever))
• Respiratory-related (symptoms included nasal congestion, cough, or sore throat (with or without fever))
• Parents reported events
Grouped 100 days (46 day first arm, 1 week washout period, 47 day second arm) • Education: guardians provided with study information and a contact number for the school nurse; additionally, monthly updates were provided
• Education: students received a carefully planned education program; 45 minute "Germ Unit", Glo Germ™ presentation
• Reinforcement: 1st week: daily reminders given to students, after 1st week reinforcement given weekly and after holidays; each classroom visited twice by school nurse during two arms
• AlcoSCRUB® dispensers were furnished in each classroom, located near the classroom entrance at a height that was accessible to all students
• Gel use was monitored, and reinforcement was given to classes with low use
• Education: information was presented by school nurse about proper handwashing
• Instructed to wash hands as usual
Cluster Non-randomized Controlled Trials (NRCTs)
Hammond 31 2000 United States GOJO Industries, Inc. 18 public elementary schools grades K-6 in 6 school districts *
Target group:
• 5 school districts: District 1 (Ohio; K-5; n = 1440 students), District 2 (Ohio; 2,3; n = 266 students), District 3 (Delaware; 3,4; n = 110 students), District 4 (Tennessee; K-6; n = 680 students), District 5 (California; K-5; n = 579 students)
Control group:
• 5 school districts: District 1 (K-5; n = 1136 students), District 2 (2,3; n = 552 students), District 3 (3,4; n = 113 students), District 4 (K-6; n = 592 students), District 5 (K-5; n = 612 students)
• Infectious process such as cold, flu, and gastroenteritis (common infectious illnesses such as pink eye, abscesses, and skin infections were not included)
• No information regarding reporting of events
Grouped by school and grouped by classroom 10 months • Each test classroom was equipped with a dispenser of PURELL instant alcohol-based hand sanitizer; also placed in other locations around the school
• Reinforcement by study co-ordinators every 3 months
• No intervention
Guinan 10 2002 United States GOJO Industries, Inc. 5 elementary schools; 4 schools had 4 classrooms, 1 school had 2 classrooms (coed and single sex schools)
Target group:
• Children grades K-3
• 4 schools with 2 classrooms, 1 school with 1 classroom
• n = 145 students
Control group:
• Children grades K-3
• 4 schools with 2 classrooms, 1 school with 1 classroom
• n = 145 students
• Infectious process such as cold, flu, and gastroenteritis
• Children and parents reported events
• Had to be 5 days between episodes to count
Grouped by classroom 3 months • Education: presentation and video describing germs and proper handwashing techniques (1 hr session)
• Each test classroom was equipped with a dispenser of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
• No intervention
Cluster Controlled Trials-randomization unclear
Thompson 15 2004 United States (abstract only) Not available 5 grade two classrooms, and 1 one/two combination classroom, n = 138 children
Target group:
• 3 classrooms
Control group:
• 3 classrooms
• Illness = cold, flu, conjunctivitis, and gastrointestinal symptoms
• Teachers recorded absences
n/a n/a • Age appropriate interactive learning session
• Alcohol-based hand sanitizer installed in intervention classrooms
n/a
  1. * Not including drop-outs or withdrawals
  2. † n/a = not available