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Patients’ capability, opportunity, motivation, and perception of inpatient hand hygiene

Published:October 29, 2019DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2019.09.001

      Highlights

      • Despite multiple hand hygiene resources in hospitals patient report minimal practice.
      • Majority of patients report hand hygiene products are for staff only not patients.
      • Patients perceive staff hand hygiene as more important than their own hand hygiene.
      • Patients report minimal use of sinks, wall hand sanitizer dispensers, towelettes.
      • Compared to home, patients report dissatisfaction with their inpatient hand hygiene.
      • Current inpatient hand hygiene practice and education strategies may be insufficient.

      Background

      Studies that examine the perceptions and behaviors of patients regarding patient hand hygiene rarely examine the viewpoint of patients about their hand hygiene behavior relative to current resources provided in the hospital.

      Methods

      Voluntary interviews that employed a 16-item survey tool were used among patients (N = 107) in outpatient clinics at post-admission visits. The survey was created using the Behavior Change Wheel, Capability, Opportunity, Motivation Behavior model. Patients were asked whether they brought hand sanitizer to the hospital, used hospital resources to clean their hands, and their perspective on patient hand hygiene importance compared with hospital staff, as well as their satisfaction or lack of satisfaction with hand hygiene independence.

      Results

      Most of the participants (65, 60.7%) reported that prior to being admitted to the hospital, they were able to maintain cleaning their hands with little or no difficulty. During their admission, only 21 (19.6%) of the participants reported needing little or no assistance. More than one-half of the participants, 34 (31.8%) and 23 (21.5%), respectively, reported, mostly or completely agreeing that the hand hygiene of the health care staff was more important than their own. Close to one-half of the participants (50, 46.7%) reported not being satisfied at all with their ability to maintain their hand hygiene in the hospital, whereas only 10 (9.3%) were very satisfied with their ability to maintain hand hygiene.

      Conclusions

      Findings from this study will enhance our understanding of how to incorporate inpatient hand hygiene into existing infection control programs in inpatient settings.

      Key Words

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