The SCICU MRSA infection rates were compared with the hospital MRSA infection rates during the study period using a bar chart to provide context for the results.
Staff awareness and understanding of the MRSAP in the SCICU
Most of the staff (85%, 22) appeared to be satisfied with the current standard of infection control in the SCICU, with 62% (16) having no specific comment to make and 23% (6) being positively satisfied.
The results for age suggested that the two groups were comparable except for one category - the female cardiac surgery patients in SCICU in the post-intervention period were significantly younger than the males (t=2.696, df=245.705, p<0.01).
Reduction in SCICU and hospital MRSA infection rates
Owing to the small number of cases it was not possible to test for the significance of this difference at SCICU level, but a chi-square test on the hospital MRSA cases for the same period demonstrated a highly significant reduction ([chi square]=6.2x[10.sup.-41], df=1, p<0.0001).
For the present study covert observation was not possible, both for ethical reasons and due to the researcher's position in the SCICU.
It was therefore tempting to attribute the statistically significant decrease in infections at hospital level and the SCICU to the MRSAP.
The highly specialised nature of the SCICU means that the results cannot be generalised.
SCICU staff members need to improve knowledge of the MRSAP before improved compliance can be achieved.