Patient education--a strategy for prevention of infections caused by permanent central venous catheters in patients with haematological malignancies: a randomized clinical trial

J Hosp Infect. 2005 Dec;61(4):330-41. doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2005.01.031. Epub 2005 Jul 6.


A functioning tunnelled central venous catheter (CVC) is a crucial device for patients with haematological malignancies receiving high-dose intravenous chemotherapy. Despite the advantages, CVC infections are a major cause of sepsis and prolonged hospital stay. This study investigated the impact of patient education regarding provision of their own catheter care on the frequency of CVC-related infections (CRIs) and was conducted at a specialized haematological unit at the University Hospital of Copenhagen Rigshospitalet. From May to September 2002, 82 patients fitted with tunnelled double-lumen Hickman catheters were randomized consecutively. The intervention group (42 participants) received individualized training and supervision by a clinical nurse specialist, with the aim of becoming independently responsible for their own catheter care. The control group (40 participants) followed the standard CVC procedures carried out by nurses inside and outside the central hospital. A significant reduction in CRIs was found in the intervention group, with a >50% reduction in the incidence rate of CRIs. We conclude that systematic individualized, supervised patient education is able to reduce catheter-related infections.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bacteremia / prevention & control
  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Blood / microbiology
  • Catheterization, Central Venous*
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control*
  • Denmark
  • Female
  • Fever
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / complications*
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Education as Topic*
  • Survival Analysis