What’s trending in infection control?

Brett Mitchell 1, Stephanie Dancer 2, Dayna Petrie 1

Avondale College, Wahroonga, NSW, Australia

Hairmyres Hospital, East Kilbride, United Kingdom


Background: There are a variety of mechanisms to obtain, share and communicate infection prevention and control information. These include scholarly publications, websites and more mainstream media such as newspapers and news websites. The purpose of this paper was to describe the 2015 publications trends in each of these areas and elicit any themes and relationships.

Methods: To identify trending topics from non-peer reviewed literature a scoping review of newspapers, news websites and infection control related websites in the United Kingdom, United States and Australia was undertaken. Such an approach allows for the development of an existing evidence base, particularly when a systematic approach is difficult. A systematic review of leading infection prevention and control journals was also undertaken.

Results: During 2015, 116 infection control related publications were identified from news websites, 71 articles from newspapers and 214 publications were identified from selected websites. 961 articles from peer reviewed infection control journals were also identified. Articles titles from each of these publications were analysed to determine weighted word frequencies. These were compared by publication type and by geographical location. Emotive language was identified more commonly in certain publications and geographical locations. There was a lack of reference to peer reviewed research in the majority of newspaper and news website articles.

Conclusion: With such a variety of mechanisms to obtain, share and communicate infection prevention and control information, understanding the differences between what is published in scholarly work and that published in the media may help bridge the gap between these ‘divides’.

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