Strategies to reduce non-ventilator-associated hospital-acquired pneumonia: A systematic review

Infect Dis Health. 2019 Nov;24(4):229-239. doi: 10.1016/j.idh.2019.06.002. Epub 2019 Jul 4.


Background: Point prevalence studies identify that pneumonia is the most common healthcare associated infection. However, non-ventilator associated healthcare associated pneumonia (NV-HAP) is both underreported and understudied. Most research conducted to date, focuses on ventilator associated pneumonia. We conducted a systematic review, to provide the latest evidence for strategies to reduce NV-HAP and describe the methodological approaches used.

Methods: We performed a systematic search to identify research exploring and evaluating NV-HAP preventive measures in hospitals and aged-care facilities. The electronic database Medline was searched, for peer-reviewed articles published between 1st January 1998 and 31st August 2018. An assessment of the study quality and risk of bias of included articles was conducted using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale.

Results: The literature search yielded 1551 articles, with 15 articles meeting the inclusion criteria. The majority of strategies for NV-HAP prevention focussed on oral care (n = 9). Three studies evaluated a form of physical activity, such as passive movements, two studies used dysphagia screening and management; and another study evaluated prophylactic antibiotics. Most studies (n = 12) were conducted in a hospital setting. Six of the fifteen studies were randomised controlled trials.

Conclusion: There was considerable heterogeneity in the included studies, including the type of intervention, study design, methods and definitions used to diagnose the NV-HAP. To date, interventions to reduce NV-HAP appear to be based broadly on the themes of improving oral care, increased mobility or movement and dysphagia management.

Keywords: Healthcare-associated pneumonia; Infection control; Nursing care; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Healthcare-Associated Pneumonia / prevention & control*
  • Hospitals / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / instrumentation
  • Infection Control / methods*