JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, N.I.H., EXTRAMURAL
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Knowledge, awareness, and attitudes regarding methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus among caregivers of hospitalized children.

OBJECTIVES: To explore knowledge, awareness, and attitudes among caregivers of hospitalized children with regard to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).

STUDY DESIGN: We developed and administered a bedside questionnaire to caregivers of hospitalized children in contact isolation for MRSA colonization or infection.

RESULTS: Of 104 caregivers approached, 100 (96%) consented to participate. The caregivers' children included 28 (28%) newly recognized as colonized or infected with MRSA during the hospitalization and 72 (72%) previously identified as colonized or infected with MRSA. Eighteen (18%) caregivers had no knowledge of MRSA. Twenty-nine (29%) were unaware that their child had MRSA, including caregivers of 9 newly identified patients with MRSA and 20 patients with previously identified MRSA. Of the 71 caregivers aware of their child's MRSA status, 89% had concerns; 77% worried about risks of future MRSA infection, 51% worried about spreading MRSA, and 16% described a feeling of stigma. Worries were more common among caregivers of children with newly identified MRSA (P < .05).

CONCLUSION: Caregivers of children hospitalized with MRSA are frequently unaware that their child has MRSA. Among those aware of their child's MRSA status, many have concerns and worries. Caregivers of children with newly identified MRSA more often are worried and may need additional education and reassurance.

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