Doctors’ attitude towards hand hygiene practices in tertiary care hospital in a developing country
Objective: To evaluate doctors’ compliance to five recommended moments of hand hygiene in a tertiary care hospital in a developing country and to identify doctors’ opinion regarding various obstacles in adherence to hand hygiene.
Method: A cross-sectional analytical study was conducted among trainee doctors -called House Officers - of a tertiary care teaching hospital in a resource-limited country (Pakistan). Subjects were consented and selected through non-probability convenient sampling. A self-administered questionnaire, based on five moments of hand hygiene recommended by WHO and factors affecting compliance was used.
Results: Out of total 125 respondents, majority of the trainee doctors (63.2%) reported non-compliance to hand hygiene before contact with the patients. This non-compliance reduces to 46% among those who carry their own soap/sanitizer. After risk of exposure to body fluids and after direct contact with patient 9% and 22% doctors reported non-compliance respectively. Most common reasons/ excuses given for non-compliance were lack of facilities (65.6%) and overcrowding (68.8%). Only 10% doctors reported lack of knowledge as a major factor effecting compliance.
Conclusions: Doctors compliance to hand hygiene for indications specifically protecting the patients was not in line with the recommendations by W.H.O. Along with improving facilities for hand hygiene, there is a need to motivate and continuously educate about patient safety.
Keywords: Hand hygiene, healthcare-associated infections, trainee doctors, hand sanitizer, five moments of hand hygiene.
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