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Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2003 Mar;85(2):123-5.

Patient perceptions of MRSA.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Northwick Park Hospital, Harrow, Middlesex, UK.


Drug-resistant nosocomial infections are an increasing problem. This issue has received considerable media coverage. To our knowledge there have been no studies investigating patient awareness and perceptions of nosocomial infections. A total of 113 surgical out-patients completed a questionnaire stating whether they had heard of either superbugs or MRSA. A series of questions were asked about the source of any information; methods of transmission and prevention; the consequences of infection and their emotional response if they were to acquire MRSA. Fifty patients (44%) had heard of superbugs or MRSA mainly via the media (58%) or from hospital staff (44%). The majority would feel either angry or afraid if they acquired MRSA in hospital, but there was good awareness of both methods of infection control and the consequences of infection. From our study, we conclude that the media is at least as important as health professionals in providing information. Concerns regarding nosocomial infection may need to be addressed prior to admission.

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