No-touch intermittent catheterization: caregiver point of view on sterility errors, duration, comfort and costs


Correspondence to A. Goessaert: e-mail:



To determine which method of intermittent urinary catheterization, sterile with a catheterization-set or the no-touch method, offers the most advantages for caregivers in a hospital setting


The no-touch catheter is assumed to decrease the risk for infection and increase the comfort for caregivers due to its construction, however, evidence is lacking


A cross-over experimental study was carried out from October until December 2009, 100 nurses and 71 nursing students participated.


Every participant had to catheterize as well according to the no-touch method as to the standard intermittent catheterization method. A randomization programme determined whether the subjects had to catheterize a male or female simulation model.


Multiple regression analysis shows that nurses and nursing students appear to make on average two more errors with the sterile intermittent catheterization method with set than with the no-touch method. The duration of the no-touch method is 92 seconds less than the classical catheterization method. On a scale with 10 points for comfort, the classical sterile method with set scored on average two points lower than the no-touch method, as well for the nurses as for the students.


Compared with the classical method, both students and nurses spend less time on performing the no-touch method, less sterility errors are made and a higher score is assigned to the no-touch method. Also classical catheterization of men implies higher costs compared with the no-touch method. No-touch intermittent catheterization is thus expected to be preferred above the gold standard catheterization method.