Factors for compliance with infection control practices in home healthcare: findings from a survey of nurses' knowledge and attitudes toward infection control


      • Infection is a leading cause of hospitalization among home healthcare patients.
      • Few studies have explored home healthcare nurses' compliance with infection control practices.
      • Home healthcare nurses' level of compliance with infection control practices is associated with more favorable attitudes toward infection control.
      • Improving compliance with infection control practices in the home healthcare setting may require strategies to alter the attitudes and perceptions of nursing staff.


      Infection is a leading cause of hospitalization among home healthcare patients. Nurses play an important role in reducing infection among home healthcare patients by complying with infection control procedures. However, few studies have examined the compliance of home healthcare nurses with infection control practices or the range of sociocultural and organizational factors that may be associated with compliance.


      This study analyzed survey responses from nurses at 2 large, certified home healthcare agencies (n = 359), to explore levels of compliance with infection control practices and identify associated demographic, knowledge, and attitudinal correlates.


      Nurses reported a high level of infection control compliance (mean = 0.89, standard deviation [SD] = 0.16), correct knowledge (mean = 0.85, SD = 0.09), and favorable attitudes (mean = 0.81, SD = 0.14). Multivariate mixed regression analyses revealed significant positive associations of attitudinal scores with reported level of compliance (P < .001). However, knowledge of inflection control practices was not associated with compliance. Older (P < .05) and non-Hispanic black (P < .001) nurses reported higher compliance with infection control practices than younger and white non-Hispanic nurses.


      These findings suggest that efforts to improve compliance with infection control practices in home healthcare should focus on strategies to alter perceptions about infection risk and other attitudinal factors.

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