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Am J Infect Control. 2009 Dec;37(10):855-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2009.06.003.

Health care worker perceptions of hand hygiene practices and obstacles in a developing region.

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Infection Control Unit, Mater Dei Hospital, Msida, Malta.


A structured self-assessment questionnaire was distributed to 8 southern and eastern Mediterranean hospitals to identify perceived obstacles to hand hygiene (HH). An insufficient number of sinks and alcohol handrub stations was rated by the vast majority of respondents as the most critical impediment, whereas improved availability of HH products was deemed the key intervention to increase compliance. The least importance and relevance were given to HH auditing and collegial reminders. While initiatives to improve HH compliance clearly must address infrastructural inadequacies, sociocultural issues also need to be considered when transposing initiatives found to be successful in Western countries to less-developed regions, to ensure that campaigns are not compromised by perceptual undercurrents.

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