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Am J Infect Control. 2019 Jan;47(1):45-50. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2018.07.002. Epub 2018 Sep 27.

Perceptions and attitudes of patients and health care workers toward patient empowerment in promoting hand hygiene.

Author information

1
Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Ourense University Hospital, Ourense, Spain. Electronic address: maria.sande.meijide@sergas.es.
2
Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health, Ourense University Hospital, Ourense, Spain.
3
University of Vigo, Vigo, Spain.
4
Research and Innovation Department, Ourense University Hospital, Ourense, Spain.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Patient empowerment is a component of the World Health Organization's multimodal strategy to improve hand hygiene (HH). Its successful implementation requires knowledge of the perceptions and attitudes of patients and health care workers (HCWs) toward patient empowerment in HH.

METHODS:

A cross-sectional study, through a self-administered questionnaire of patients and their families and HCWs, was conducted in a 433-bed block of an 850-bed university hospital in Galicia, Spain.

RESULTS:

A total of 337 patients and their families and 196 HCWs completed the questionnaire. Among patients and their families, 49.9% were willing to remind HCWs about HH. However, only 31.6% of HCWs (41.8% of physicians and 24.8% of nurses) supported patient participation. The most common reason for patients and their families not being willing to ask caregivers to perform HH was fear of causing annoyance or receiving worse treatment as a consequence (76%). The main reasons that physicians disagreed with patient participation was patients' lack of knowledge (40%) and possible negative effects on the HCW/patient relationship (40%). Nurses considered this participation unnecessary (58%).

CONCLUSIONS:

There were significant differences between patients and their families and HCWs regarding support for patient empowerment in promoting HH. In our setting, a cultural change is needed in the HCW/patient relationship to create a facilitating environment.

KEYWORDS:

Hand hygiene; Health care–associated infection; Patient empowerment

PMID:
30268593
DOI:
10.1016/j.ajic.2018.07.002

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