Health care workers' hand decontamination practices: an Irish study

Sile A Creedon
Clinical Nursing Research 2006, 15 (1): 6-26
The primary purpose of this quasi-experimental research is to observe health care workers' compliance with hand-hygiene guidelines during patient care in an intensive care unit in Ireland before (pretest) and after (posttest) implementation of a multifaceted hand-hygiene program. Health care workers' attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge in relation to compliance with handwashing guidelines were also investigated. A convenience sample of nurses, doctors, physiotherapists, and care assistants (n = 73 observational participants, n = 62 questionnaire respondents) was used. Data (N = 314 observations, 62 questionnaires) were analyzed descriptively and cross-tabulated using chi-square (Pearson's) and Mann-Whitney statistical tests. Results revealed that a significant shift (32%) occurred in health care workers' compliance with handwashing guidelines (pretest 51%, posttest 83%, p < .001) following the interventional hand-hygiene program. Significant changes were also found in relation to health care workers' attitudes, beliefs, and knowledge (p < .05).

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