The Nosocomial Colonization of T. Bear
Walter T. Hughes, Bonnie Williams, Bobby Williams and Ted Pearson Infection Control, Vol. 7, No. 10 (Oct., 1986), pp. 95-500
It's worth a quick read. The bear's (and yes, technically they are known as T.Bear) were already being used in a program in the hospital to encourage handwashing!
In view of the potential hazard, we suggest that this item not be used in hospitals or day care centers as recommended by the NIH and T. Bear Foundation. It must be emphasized that our criticism is not of the T. Bear Handwashing program, but rather of this one item utilized by the program. Nevertheless, although extensive development and promotion of the T. Bear Program are well under way at the national level, we are not aware of any objective experimental studies that have been reported. The program caused excitement at our hospital. Patients, parents, nurses, doctors, housekeepers, and technicians begged for a lovable T. Bear and the colorful lapel badge. But the objective is not fun with teddy bears, but rather washing hands to prevent infection. Will the T. Bear concept influence the busy surgeon, pediatrician, nurse, anxious parent, or sick child to perceive hand- washing to be "kid stuff' or an effective modality for preventive medicine? It would seem that objective motivational studies are warranted.