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Am J Infect Control. 2003 Nov;31(7):415-23.

Influences on compliance with standard precautions among operating room nurses.

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University of Canberra, School of Nursing, Canberra, Australia.



Occupational exposures of health care workers occur because of inconsistent compliance with standard precautions. The purpose of this study was to develop national estimates of compliance with standard precautions and occupational exposure reporting among operating room nurses (specifically, scrub nurses) in Australia and to assess variables that influence compliance.


A descriptive correlation design was used to investigate relationships between variables and compliance, using a theoretical framework, the Health Belief Model, to give meaning to the variables. Data collection was done through mail-out surveys to members of the Australian College of Operating Room Nurses.


This article reports the results of compliance with the following 2 specific self-protective behaviors: double-gloving and wearing adequate eye protection. Mean compliance rates were 55.6% with always double-gloving during surgical procedures and 92% with always wearing adequate eye protection. In addition, the variable that had the most influence on compliance was the perception of barriers to compliance, specifically, that adhering to standard precautions interfered with duties.


These results have implications for the development of multifaceted perioperative infection control programs, including strategies for prevention, education, and policy development, to improve practices aimed at reducing occupational exposures among this high-risk group.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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