IFH has produced a range of materials in different formats to meet the differing needs of the various segments of our target audience. These range from detailed reviews of the scientific evidence base on home and community hygiene to plain language briefing documents.
IFH considers hygiene “holistically” from the point of view of the family, and addresses the full range of actions which they need to undertake (food and water hygiene, handwashing, safe disposal of human and other waste etc) in order to protect themselves from infectious disease. This also includes caring for family members who are infected, or who are at greater risk of infection e.g patients discharged from hospital or undergoing outpatient treatment, babies, pregnant mums etc.
One of the key actions which IFH has undertaken has been the development of a risk-based (or HACCP-based) approach to home hygiene. The risk-based approach has been used by IFH as the basis for making evidence-based decisions about home hygiene practice and home hygiene procedures.
When applied to the home the risk-based approach has come to be known as “targeted hygiene”. The concept of “targeted hygiene” also provides a way to address the various “hygiene issues” such as those related to the «hygiene hypothesis» and the concerns about antimicrobial resistance. Whilst targeted hygiene was originally developed by IFH as an effective approach to hygiene practice in the home and community, it also provides an excellent framework for building sustainability into hygiene. Through prudent and focussed use of hygiene products and processes, it intrinsically minimises environmental impacts, minimises any risks of encouraging the development of antibiotic resistance through low level biocide exposure. It also seeks, as far as possible, to sustain "normal" levels of exposure to the microbial flora of our environment to the extent that is important to build a balanced immune system.
IFH Materials Available from this Website are Grouped as Follows:
In formulating the IFH targeted approach to home hygiene, the IFH Scientific Advisory Board made a detailed review of the scientific data related to the spread of infections in the home and the efficacy and effectiveness of hygiene procedures in breaking the chain of infection transmission. This data has been published by the IFH in a number of review papers as follows:
- Prevention of the spread of infection - the need for a family-centred approach to hygiene promotion. Eurosurveillance 2008;13(22):pii=18889
- Preventing the spread of infectious diseases in the European Union - targeted hygiene as a framework for sustainable hygiene
- The global burden of hygiene-related diseases in relation to the home and community
- The chain of infection transmission in the home and everyday life settings and the role of hygiene practice in reducing infection
- Hygiene procedures in the home and their effectiveness: a review of the scientific evidence base
- The effectiveness of hand hygiene procedures in reducing the risks of infections in home and community settings including handwashing and alcohol-based hand sanitizers. American Journal of Infection 2007; 35 (suppl 1): S1-64
- The need for a home hygiene policy and guidelines on home hygiene (published 1997)
In addition to the evidence base reviews outlined above, IFH has also prepared reviews of other key issues related to home hygiene such as the hygiene hypothesis and the concerns about antimicrobial resistance. This section of the website also contains materials (reviews, reports etc) developed by other sources in the area of infection control related specifically to the home and community.
The purpose of these materials is to scope and explain the principles and practice of home hygiene. The key feature of the training resources is that they are written in simple practical language which can be understood by those who are responsible for actioning community programmes, many of whom may have little background knowledge in hygiene. In addition to IFH materials, this section of the site features resources produced by other organisations.
A series of short briefing documents and some Q&As in plain language on key aspects of hygiene, and hygiene issues, for use by hygiene professionals, public society, the media etc.
A series of sheets which combine information with practical hygiene advice, which have been developed to meet needs for communication with the public where there is a specific risk. These can be given directly to the public, or they can be adapted (with appropriate acknowledgement to the IFH) and reproduced to meet the specific needs of our target audience group.
This section of the site is divided into 8 sections to reflect the pertinent areas of investigation relevant to home hygiene. Each section contains references to externally published articles, reviews and reports in the main subject areas addressed by the IFH, with on-line access where possible. The library is updated biannually. The library also provides access to recent literature which was not available when the IFH review papers were prepared or last updated, or information on topics not covered by these review papers. If you have articles, papers, or information about research projects and would like to see these included in the IFH home hygiene library, please submit them to us via the ‘contact us’ page
This will be a new addition to our site, and is currently under construction. This section will contain leaflets and other resources which have been developed for direct communication with the public.