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Pediatr Pulmonol. 2008 Sep;43(9):900-7. doi: 10.1002/ppul.20876.

Barriers to adherence to cystic fibrosis infection control guidelines.

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Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.



In 2003, the American Cystic Fibrosis (CF) Foundation published revised, evidence-based guidelines for infection control. We sought to assess potential barriers to adherence to these guidelines experienced by health care professionals (HCPs) caring for CF patients.


From April 2004 to December 2005, a knowledge, attitude, and practice survey was administered to HCPs at randomly selected CF centers in the United States to explore potential barriers to adherence to selected guidelines: (1) obtaining quarterly cultures from CF patients, (2) discouraging socialization among CF patients during hospitalization, (3) educating patients and families about hand hygiene, (4) educating patients and families to clean and disinfect home nebulizers, and (5) cleaning the clinic exam rooms between CF patients.


The survey was completed by 528 HCPs from 25 sites (5-50 respondents per site). Only 60% of respondents were aware of the guidelines, but despite awareness, 31-47% were unfamiliar with the specific guidelines. Self-reported adherence was low; only 23-63% of respondents reported practicing the selected guidelines >75% of the time/opportunities. Lack of self-efficacy, that is, confidence in adequately performing the guidelines, was commonly experienced by respondents. Access to a copy of the guidelines was associated with increased agreement with the recommendations and increased self-efficacy.


Strategies to reduce barriers to adherence to CF infection control guidelines are needed. Strategies could include quality improvement initiatives with enhanced education and skills workshops, sharing successful interventions among CF centers, and linking adherence to improved patient outcomes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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