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Patients’ Beliefs and Perceptions of Their Participation to Increase Healthcare Worker Compliance with Hand Hygiene

Yves Longtin , MD, Hugo Sax , MD, Benedetta Allegranzi , MD, Stéphane Hugonnet , MD and Didier Pittet , MD, MS
Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology
Vol. 30, No. 9 (September 2009), pp. 830-839
DOI: 10.1086/599118
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/599118
Page Count: 10
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Patients’ Beliefs and Perceptions of Their Participation to Increase Healthcare Worker Compliance with Hand Hygiene
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Abstract

Background.  Research suggests that patients could improve healthcare workers’ compliance with hand hygiene recommendations by reminding them to cleanse their hands. Objective.  To assess patients’ perceptions of a patient‐participation program to improve healthcare workers’ compliance with hand hygiene. Design.  Cross‐sectional survey of patient knowledge and perceptions of healthcare‐associated infections, hand hygiene, and patient participation, defined as the active involvement of patients in various aspects of their health care. Setting.  Large Swiss teaching hospital. Results.  Of 194 patients who participated, most responded that they would not feel comfortable asking a nurse (148 respondents [76%]) or a physician (150 [77%]) to perform hand hygiene, and 57 (29%) believed that this would help prevent healthcare‐associated infections. In contrast, an explicit invitation from a healthcare worker to ask about hand hygiene doubled the intention to ask a nurse (from 34% to 83% of respondents; \documentclass{aastex} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{bm} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{pifont} \usepackage{stmaryrd} \usepackage{textcomp} \usepackage{portland,xspace} \usepackage{amsmath,amsxtra} \usepackage[OT2,OT1]{fontenc} \newcommand\cyr{ \renewcommand\rmdefault{wncyr} \renewcommand\sfdefault{wncyss} \renewcommand\encodingdefault{OT2} \normalfont \selectfont} \DeclareTextFontCommand{\textcyr}{\cyr} \pagestyle{empty} \DeclareMathSizes{10}{9}{7}{6} \begin{document} \landscape $P< .001$ \end{document} ) and to ask a physician (from 30% to 78%; \documentclass{aastex} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{bm} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{pifont} \usepackage{stmaryrd} \usepackage{textcomp} \usepackage{portland,xspace} \usepackage{amsmath,amsxtra} \usepackage[OT2,OT1]{fontenc} \newcommand\cyr{ \renewcommand\rmdefault{wncyr} \renewcommand\sfdefault{wncyss} \renewcommand\encodingdefault{OT2} \normalfont \selectfont} \DeclareTextFontCommand{\textcyr}{\cyr} \pagestyle{empty} \DeclareMathSizes{10}{9}{7}{6} \begin{document} \landscape $P< .001$ \end{document} ). In multivariate analysis, being nonreligious, having an expansive personality, being concerned about healthcare‐associated infections, and believing that patient participation would prevent healthcare‐associated infections were associated with the intention to ask a nurse or a physician to perform hand hygiene ( \documentclass{aastex} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{bm} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{pifont} \usepackage{stmaryrd} \usepackage{textcomp} \usepackage{portland,xspace} \usepackage{amsmath,amsxtra} \usepackage[OT2,OT1]{fontenc} \newcommand\cyr{ \renewcommand\rmdefault{wncyr} \renewcommand\sfdefault{wncyss} \renewcommand\encodingdefault{OT2} \normalfont \selectfont} \DeclareTextFontCommand{\textcyr}{\cyr} \pagestyle{empty} \DeclareMathSizes{10}{9}{7}{6} \begin{document} \landscape $P< .05$ \end{document} ). Being of Jewish, Eastern Orthodox, or Buddhist faith was associated also with increased intention to ask a nurse ( \documentclass{aastex} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{bm} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{pifont} \usepackage{stmaryrd} \usepackage{textcomp} \usepackage{portland,xspace} \usepackage{amsmath,amsxtra} \usepackage[OT2,OT1]{fontenc} \newcommand\cyr{ \renewcommand\rmdefault{wncyr} \renewcommand\sfdefault{wncyss} \renewcommand\encodingdefault{OT2} \normalfont \selectfont} \DeclareTextFontCommand{\textcyr}{\cyr} \pagestyle{empty} \DeclareMathSizes{10}{9}{7}{6} \begin{document} \landscape $P< .05$ \end{document} ), compared with being of Christian faith. Conclusions.  This study identifies several sociodemographic characteristics associated with the intention to ask nurses and physicians about hand hygiene and underscores the importance of a direct invitation from healthcare workers to increase patient participation and foster patient empowerment. These findings could guide the development of future hand hygiene–promotion strategies.

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