Exposure to blood-borne pathogens poses a serious risk to health care workers (HCWs). We review the risk and management of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections in HCWs and also discuss current methods for preventing exposures and recommendations for postexposure prophylaxis. In the health care setting, blood-borne pathogen transmission occurs predominantly by percutaneous or mucosal exposure of workers to the blood or body fluids of infected patients. Prospective studies of HCWs have estimated that the average risk for HIV transmission after a percutaneous exposure is approximately 0.3%, the risk of HBV transmission is 6 to 30%, and the risk of HCV transmission is approximately 1.8%. To minimize the risk of blood-borne pathogen transmission from HCWs to patients, all HCWs should adhere to standard precautions, including the appropriate use of hand washing, protective barriers, and care in the use and disposal of needles and other sharp instruments. Employers should have in place a system that includes written protocols for prompt reporting, evaluation, counseling, treatment, and follow-up of occupational exposures that may place a worker at risk of blood-borne pathogen infection. A sustained commitment to the occupational health of all HCWs will ensure maximum protection for HCWs and patients and the availability of optimal medical care for all who need it.
THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERABLE DEBATE ABOUT THE NEED for mandatory serologic testing of individuals who are the source of bloodborne pathogen exposures in health care and other occupational settings. The transmission of hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV) and HIV between patients and health care workers (HCWs) is related to the frequency of exposures capable of allowing transmission, the prevalence of disease in the source populations, the risk of transmission given exposure to an infected source and the effectiveness of postexposure management. Transmission of HBV from patients to HCWs has been substantially reduced by vaccination and universal precautions. The transmission of HCV and HIV to HCWs does occur, although postexposure prophylaxis (PEP) is available to reduce the risk of HIV transmission. Transmission of bloodborne pathogens from infected HCWs to patients has also been documented. Policy-making concerning the mandatory postexposure testing of patients who may be the source of infection must weigh the relative infrequency of patients' refusals to be tested and the consequences for PEP recommendations with the ethical and legal considerations of bypassing informed consent and mandating testing. Mandatory postexposure testing of HCWs who are the source of infection will have a limited impact on reducing transmission because of the lack of recognition and reporting of exposures. Comprehensive approaches have been recommended to reduce the risk of transmission of bloodborne virus infections.
This study assessed the knowledge of recommended urinary catheter care practices among nursing home (NH) healthcare workers (HCWs) in Southeast Michigan.
A self-administered survey.
Seven nursing homes in Southeast Michigan.
Three hundred and fifty-six healthcare workers.
An anonymous, self-administered survey of HCWs (nurses & nurse aides) in seven NHs in 2006. The survey included questions about respondent characteristics and knowledge about indications, care, and personal hygiene pertaining to urinary catheters. The association of knowledge measures with occupation (nurses vs. aides) was assessed using generalized estimating equations.
A total of 356 of 440 HCWs (81%) responded. Over 90% of HCWs were aware of measures such as cleaning around the catheter daily, glove use, and hand hygiene with catheter manipulation. They were less aware of research-proven recommendations of not disconnecting the catheter from its bag (59% nurses vs. 30% aides, P < .001), not routinely irrigating the catheter (48% nurses vs. 8% aides, P < .001), and hand hygiene even after casual contact (60% nurses vs. 69% aides, P = .07). HCWs were also unaware of recommendations regarding alcohol-based handrub (27% nurses & 32% aides with correct responses, P = .38). HCWs reported sources, both informal (such as nurse supervisors) and formal (in-services), of knowledge about catheter care.
Wide discrepancies remain between research-proven recommendations pertaining to urinary catheter care and HCWs' knowledge. Nurses and aides differ in their knowledge of recommendations against harmful practices, such as disconnecting the catheter from the bag and routinely irrigating catheters. Further research should focus on strategies to enhance dissemination of proven infection control practices in NHs.
urinary catheter; nursing homes; translating research into practice
Hand hygiene (HH) is the most important measure to prevent hospital-acquired infections but the compliance is still low.
To assess the compliance, identify factors influencing compliance and to study the knowledge, attitude and perceptions associated with HH among health care workers (HCW).
Settings and Design:
Cross-sectional study conducted in 42 bedded Medical (Pulmonary, Medicine and Stroke) intensive care units (ICU) of a tertiary care hospital.
Materials and Methods:
HCWs (doctors and nurses) were observed during routine patient care by observers posted in each ICU and their HH compliance was noted. Thereafter, questionnaire regarding knowledge, perception and attitudes toward HH was filled by each HCW.
Percentages and χ2 test.
The overall compliance was 43.2% (394/911 opportunities). It was 68.9% (31/45) in the intensivists, 56.3% (18/32) in attending physicians, 40.0% (28/70) in the postgraduate residents and 41.3% (301/728) in the nurses. Compliance was inversely related to activity index. Compliance for high, medium and low risk of cross-transmission was 38.8% (67/170), 43.8% (175/401) and 44.7% (152/340), respectively.
Compliance of the study group is affected by the activity index (number of opportunities they come across per hour) and professional status. The HCWs listed less knowledge, lack of motivation, increased workload as some of the factors influencing HH.
Compliance; hand hygiene; health care workers; hospital acquired infections; intensive care unit
Studies of the molecular epidemiology and risk factors for hepatitis C virus (HCV) in health care workers (HCWs) of Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region are scarce. Lack of awareness about the transmission of HCV and regular blood screening is contributing a great deal towards the spread of hepatitis C. This study is an attempt to investigate the prevalence of HCV and its possible association with both occupational and non-occupational risk factors among the HCWs of Peshawar.
Blood samples of 824 HCWs, aged between 20-59 years were analysed for anti-HCV antibodies, HCV RNA and HCV genotypes by Immunochromatographic tests and PCR. All relevant information was obtained from the HCWs with the help of a questionnaire. The study revealed that 4.13% of the HCWs were positive for HCV antibodies, while HCV RNA was detected in 2.79% of the individuals. The most predominant HCV genotype was 3a and 2a.
A program for education about occupational risk factors and regular blood screening must be implemented in all healthcare setups of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in order to help reduce the burden of HCV infection.
Decreasing transmission of resistant organisms in hospitals is a key goal of infection prevention plans. Studies have shown that health care worker (HCW) compliance with isolation precautions is inadequate. Direct observation of HCW behavior for measuring adherence is considered the “gold standard” but is labor intensive, requiring the collection and analysis of a large volume of observations.
Two methods of data collection were evaluated to asses HCW compliance: a manual method using a paper form (PF) with subsequent data entry into a database, and an electronic method using a web-based form (WBF) with real-time data recording. Observations were conducted at four hospitals (2,065 beds) to assess availability of gloves, gowns and masks, isolation sign postings, and HCW isolation practices.
A total of 13,878 isolation rooms were observed in 2009. The median number of rooms observed/day for PF and WBF were 61 and 60 and the mean observation times/room were 149sec and 60sec, respectively. The WBF provided a time savings of 89 sec/room.
Simple electronic forms can significantly decrease resources needed to monitor HCW adherence to hospital policies. The WBF decreased observation time by 60%, allowing for an increase in frequency and expansion of surveillance activities.
Isolation precautions; electronic surveillance; adherence; compliance
Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for healthcare workers (HCWs) in order to reduce the morbidity associated with influenza in healthcare settings. The aim of this study was to evaluate the current vaccination status of the HCWs in one of Italy's largest multidisciplinary University Hospitals.
Between February 1 and March 31, 2006, we carried out a cross-sectional study of influenza vaccination coverage among HCWs at the University Hospital Fondazione IRCCS "Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Mangiagalli e Regina Elena", Milan, Italy. After receiving a brief description of the aim of the study, 2,143 (95%: 1,064 physicians; 855 nurses; 224 paramedics) of 2,240 HCWs self-completed an anonymous questionnaire.
Influenza vaccination coverage was very low in all specialties, varying from 17.6% in the Emergency Department to 24.3% in the Surgery Department, and knowledge of influenza epidemiology and prevention was poor. The factors positively associated with being vaccinated were an age of ≥ 45 years, considering influenza a potentially severe disease, and being aware of the high-risk categories for which influenza vaccination is strongly recommended; those that negatively associated with being vaccinated were being female, working in the Medicine Department, and being a nurse or paramedic.
Despite strong recommendations, influenza vaccination coverage seemed to be very low among HCWs of all specialties, with differences between areas and types of employment. Specific continuous educational and vaccination programs for different targets should be urgently organized to reduce morbidity and mortality in high-risk patients, contain nosocomial outbreaks, and ensure an appropriate socioeconomic impact.
A Dominican Republic (DR) based multi-community trial of smoking cessation viewed health care workers (HCWs) as potential interventionists. Effectively engaging them, requires a clear understanding of their attitudes and practices regarding smoking.
A Rapid Assessment Procedure, conducted among HCWs in six economically disadvantaged communities, included physicians, nurses, other health professionals, paraprofessionals and lay workers. Attitudes and practices about smoking were consistent across the 82 HCWs and mostly reflected community views. HCWs lacked proactiveness related to smoking cessation and had a limited view of their role, attributing clients’ quitting successes to personal will. Prior cessation training was limited although interest was generally high. Material resources about smoking cessation were virtually absent.
DR HCWs’ views represented features both distinct from and common to HCWs elsewhere. Any intervention with HCWs must first raise awareness before addressing their role in smoking cessation, discussing implementation barriers and include training and materials about risks and effective interventions.
Tobacco cessation; qualitative methods; Dominican Republic
Background: Healthcare workers (HCWs) pose a potential risk of transmitting communicable diseases in the hospital settings where they usually work. This study aims to determine the current influenza vaccination rates among HCWs in three Middle East countries namely United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kuwait and Oman, and also to identify the different variables associated with the noncompliance of HCWs to the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) set in those countries. Methods: 1500 questionnaires were distributed to health care workers in the three countries during the period of July-October 2009. Results: Among 993 respondents, the vaccination rate was 24.7%, 67.2% and 46.4% in UAE, Kuwait and Oman, respectively. The different motivating factors that influenced the health care workers to take the vaccine was assessed and found that the most common factor that influenced their decision to take the vaccine was for their self protection (59%). On the other hand, the most common reason that discouraged HCWs to take the vaccine was “lack of time” as reported by 31.8% of the respondents. Other reasons for not taking the vaccine were unawareness of vaccine availability (29.4%), unavailability of vaccine (25.4%), doubts about vaccine efficacy (24.9%), lack of information about importance (20.1%) and concerns about its side effects (17.3%). Conclusions: influenza immunization by healthcare workers in the studied countries was suboptimal which could be improved by setting different interventions and educational programs to increase vaccination acceptance among HCWs.
Influenza; healthcare workers; vaccination
In industrialised countries, occupational tuberculosis among healthcare workers (HCWs) is re‐emerging as an important public health issue. To prevent and control tuberculosis transmission, several institutions have issued and implemented recommendations and practice guidelines.
To estimate the annual rate of tuberculosis infection (ARTI; per 100 person‐years) among HCWs in Turin, the capital of the Piedmont region of Italy, to identify factors associated with variations in the ARTI and to evaluate the efficacy of the regional guidelines to prevent and control tuberculosis.
The study was conducted between 1997 and 2004 on a cohort of HCWs. The tuberculosis infection was diagnosed through tuberculin skin testing (TST) conversion and defined as an induration increase of at least 10 mm from a previous negative TST. The ARTI and the hazard ratio for each at‐risk subgroup, categorised according to working activities and settings, was estimated using exponential survival models. The efficacy of the regional guidelines was estimated by stratifying the analysis according to the moment of the implementation of the guidelines (before/after).
The 2182 study participants were drawn from the dynamic cohort. The overall adjusted ARTI was 1.6 (95% CI: 1.3 to 1.9)/100 person‐years. Different workplaces (eg, administrative and infectious diseases inpatient services) and occupations (eg, clerical and medical workers) were associated with significantly different ARTIs, ranging between 0.62 and 2.62 and between 0.61 and 1.71, respectively, whereas the TST conversion risk differed by about 16–68% and 30–60%, respectively. The implementation of the guidelines coincided with overall ARTI reductions of 1.3/100 person‐years, and concurrently the variations between ARTIs of different occupations and workplaces disappeared.
The occupational risk categories for targeting the surveillance and prevention of tuberculosis transmission among HCWs were identified, and the introduction of preventive measures was observed to be effective in decreasing the overall risk of tuberculosis infection among HCWs.
INTRODUCTION: Healthcare workers (HCWs) are exposed to bloodborne infections by pathogens, such as HIV, and hepatitis B and C viruses, as they perform their clinical activities in the hospital. Compliance with universal precautions has been shown to reduce the risk of exposure to blood and body fluids. This study was aimed at assessing the observance of universal precautions by HCWs in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: The study was conducted in September 2003 in Abeokuta metropolis, Ogun State, Nigeria. The respondents were doctors, trained and auxiliary nurses, laboratory scientists and domestic staff. They were selected through a multistage sampling technique from public and private healthcare facilities within the metropolis. The instrument was an interviewer-administered, semistructured questionnaire that assessed the practice of recapping and disposal of used needles, use of barrier equipment, handwashing and screening of transfused blood. RESULTS: There were 433 respondents, 211 (48.7%) of which were trained nurses. About a third of all respondents always recapped used needles. Compliance with nonrecapping of used needles was highest among trained nurses and worst with doctors. Less than two-thirds of respondents (63.8%) always used personal protective equipment, and more than half of all respondents (56.5%) had never worn goggles during deliveries and at surgeries. The provision of sharps containers and screening of transfused blood by the institutions studied was uniformly high. A high percentage (94.6%) of HCWs observed handwashing after handling patients. The use of barrier equipment was variable in the institutions studied. CONCLUSION: Recapping of used needles is prevalent in the health facilities studied. Noncompliance with universal precautions place Nigerian HCWs at significant health risks. Training programs and other relevant measures should be put in place to promote the appropriate use of protective barrier equipment by HCWs at all times.
This study assessed the level of knowledge, attitudes, and practice regarding disinfection procedures among nurses in Italian hospitals.
A face-to-face interview gathered the following information: demographic and practice characteristics; knowledge about the healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and the disinfection practices; attitudes towards the utility of guidelines/protocols and perception of the risks of acquiring/transmitting HAIs; compliance with antisepsis/disinfection procedures; and sources of information.
Only 29% acknowledged that urinary and respiratory tract infections were the two most common HAIs and this knowledge was significantly higher in those with a higher level of education. Attitudes towards the utility of guidelines/protocols for disinfection procedures showed a mean score of 9.1. The results of the linear regression model indicated a more positive attitude in female nurses, in those with a lower number of years of activity, and in those needing additional information about disinfection procedures. Nurses with higher educational level and with a higher perception of risk of transmitting an infectious disease while working were more likely to perform appropriate antisepsis of the surgical wound and handwashing before and after medication.
Plan of successful prevention activities about HAIs and provide pointers to help optimize disinfection procedures and infection prophylaxis and management are needed.
Hand hygiene is one of the cornerstones of the prevention of health care-associated infection, but health care worker (HCW) compliance with good practices remains low. Alcohol-based handrub is the new standard for hand hygiene action worldwide and usually requires a system change for its successful introduction in routine care. Product acceptability by HCWs is a crucial step in this process.
We conducted a prospective intervention study to compare the impact on HCW compliance of a liquid (study phase I) versus a gel (phase II) handrub formulation of the same product during daily patient care. All staff (102 HCWs) of the medical intensive care unit participated. Compliance with hand hygiene was monitored by a single observer. Skin tolerance and product acceptability were assessed using subjective and objective scoring systems, self-report questionnaires, and biometric measurements. Logistic regression was used to estimate the association between predictors and compliance with the handrub formulation as the main explanatory variable and to adjust for potential risk factors.
Overall compliance (phases I and II) with hand hygiene practices among nurses, physicians, nursing assistants, and other HCWs was 39.1%, 27.1%, 31.1%, and 13.9%, respectively (p = 0.027). Easy access to handrub improved compliance (35.3% versus 50.6%, p = 0.035). Nurse status, working on morning shifts, use of the gel formulation, and availability of the alcohol-based handrub in the HCW's pocket were independently associated with higher compliance. Immediate accessibility was the strongest predictor. Based on self-assessment, observer assessment, and the measurement of epidermal water content, the gel performed significantly better than the liquid formulation.
Facilitated access to an alcohol-based gel formulation leads to improved compliance with hand hygiene and better skin condition in HCWs.
Background and Objectives
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has identified health care workers (HCWs) as a priority group to receive influenza vaccine. Although the importance of HCW to the health care system is well understood, the potential role of HCW in transmission during an epidemic has not been clearly established.
Using a standard SIR (Susceptible–Infected–Recovered) framework similar to previously developed pandemic models, we developed an agent-based model (ABM) of Allegheny County, PA, that incorporates the key health care system features to simulate the spread of an influenza epidemic and its effect on hospital-based HCWs.
Our simulation runs found the secondary attack rate among unprotected HCWs to be approximately 60% higher (54·3%) as that of all adults (34·1%), which would result in substantial absenteeism and additional risk to HCW families. Understanding how a pandemic may affect HCWs, who must be available to treat infected patients as well as patients with other medical conditions, is crucial to policy makers’ and hospital administrators’ preparedness planning.
Computer simulation; infectious disease transmission; human influenza; professional to patient; agent-based model; pandemic
This study was conducted to evaluate perceptions of healthcare workers (HCW) and parents regarding hand-hygiene and effectiveness of measures for increasing hand-hygiene adherence, in a children's hospital in Italy.
A cross-sectional study was performed from 5 to 13 July 2010, using two self-administered anonymous questionnaires (one for HCWs and one for parents/caregivers). The questionnaires included information regarding individual perceptions associated with hand hygiene.
We collected 139 questionnaires from HCWs and 236 questionnaires from parents. Alcohol-based handrub was reported to be available at the point of care by 95.0% of the HCWs and in the child's room by 97.0% of the parents. For both HCWs and parents, availability of alcohol-based handrub was perceived as the most useful action for improving adherence to hand hygiene (scores ≥ 6 on a 7-point Likert-type scale: 84.8% [CI95%78.0-90.1] for HCWs and 87.9% [CI95% 83.3-91.7] for parents). Parents' reminding HCWs to perform hand hygiene was perceived as the least useful action (scores ≥ 6: 48.9% [CI95% 40.5-57.3] for HCWs and 55.7% [CI95% 49.2-62.1] for parents). Factors that affected HCWs' perceptions of the effectiveness of actions for improving adherence to hand hygiene included years of practice, type of ward and previous formal training on hand hygiene. For parents, factors affecting perceptions included previous information on hand hygiene and previous hospitalizations for their child.
Investigating HCWs' and parents' perceptions of measures for improving adherence can provide useful information for implementing actions for hand-hygiene promotion in children's hospitals. In this study, HCWs' and parents' perceptions were similar; alcohol-based hand-rub availability was perceived as the most useful tool, confirming its crucial role in multimodal interventions. Poor perception of inviting parents to remind HCWs to perform hand-hygiene has been previously observed, and deserves further investigation. Information and education activities were associated with more positive perceptions regarding various improvement measures. Though the relationship between perceptions and behaviours remains to be fully determined, HCWs should participate in formal training and families should be properly informed, not only to increase knowledge but also to improve perceptions on effectiveness of actions to be implemented.
Critically ill patients with 2009 H1N1 influenza are often treated in intensive care units (ICUs), representing significant risk of nosocomial transmission to critical care clinicians and other patients. Despite a large body of literature and guidelines recommending infection control practices, numerous barriers have been identified in ICUs, leading to poor compliance to the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). The use of PPE among critical care clinicians has not been extensively evaluated, especially during the pandemic influenza. This study examined the knowledge, attitudes, and self-reported behaviors, and barriers to compliance with the use of PPE among ICU healthcare workers (HCWs) during the pandemic influenza.
A survey instrument consisting of 36 questions was developed and mailed to all HCWs in 21 ICUs in 17 provinces in China. A total of 733 physicians, nurses, and other professionals were surveyed, and 650 (88.7%) were included in the analysis. Fifty-six percent of respondents reported having received training program of pandemic influenza before they cared for H1N1 patients, while 77% reported to have adequate knowledge of self and patient protection. Only 18% of respondents were able to correctly identify all components of PPE, and 55% reported high compliance (>80%) with PPE use during patient care. In multivariate analysis, vaccination for 2009 H1N1 influenza, positive attitudes towards PPE use, organizational factors such as availability of PPE in ICU, and patient information of influenza precautions, as well as reprimand for noncompliance by the supervisors were associated with high compliance, whereas negative attitudes towards PPE use and violation of PPE use were independent predictors of low compliance.
Knowledge and self-reported compliance to recommended PPE use among Chinese critical care clinicians is suboptimal. The perceived barriers should be addressed in order to close the significant gap between perception and knowledge or behavior.
Patients and healthcare workers (HCW) in healthcare settings represent a unique social network in which the risk of transmission of an infection is considered to be higher for both HCW and patients. Using data from existing clinical informatics resources, we constructed social networks of patient-HCW interactions in the emergency department of a tertiary care pediatric hospital. The structural properties of these networks were analyzed and compared to other well known networks. Patient-HCW networks do not demonstrate the classical power-law distribution of scale-free networks, thus indicating that they are different from social networks of individuals in a community. The clustering coefficient is larger as compared to a random network, indicating small world properties. The eigenvector centrality, used to identify the most important nodes, reveals HCW to be more connected than patients. These properties imply differences that must be taken into account when analyzing patient-HCW networks and planning interventions and mitigation strategies to prevent the spread of infectious diseases in healthcare settings.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) may occur among hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected individuals. HCV is one of the most common blood-borne pathogens transmitted from patients to health-care workers (HCWs). The development of NHL among HCV-infected HCWs has recently been shown. To investigate this issue further a tailored health surveillance program was applied to 3,138 HCWs from four Medical Institutions. To this aim, all employees were screened for both anti-HCV antibodies and HCV-related extrahepatic manifestations. The HCV prevalence rate, similar among all the HCW subgroups, was 7.3%. The occurrence of a gastric mucosa-associated lymphoma tissue (MALT) lymphoma, diagnosed in a physician following a long history of HCV chronic infection, was observed. Molecular characterization of MALT tissue indicated that immunoglobuline gene combinations were those usually found among HCV-associated lymphomas. Furthermore, B-cell expansion exhibited t(14;18) translocation, as a genetic abnormality associated with the development of MALT lymphomas from HCV-positive patients. Overall, these findings support the hypothesis that HCV viral infection potentially affects the pathway of transformation and progression of lymphoma cells. The occurrence of B-cell NHL, among HCV-positive HCWs, is an additional reason to apply the standard precautions to reduce the risk of blood-borne pathogen transmission.
hepatitis C virus; health-care worker; non-Hodgkin lymphoma; surveillance
Hospitals are often the epicentres of newly circulating infections. Healthcare workers (HCWs) are at high risk of acquiring infectious diseases and may be among the first to contract emerging infections. This study aims to explore European HCWs' perceptions and attitudes towards monitoring their absence and symptom reports for surveillance of newly circulating infections.
A qualitative study with thematic analysis was conducted using focus group methodology. Forty-nine hospital-based HCWs from 12 hospitals were recruited to six focus groups; two each in England and Hungary and one each in Germany and Greece.
HCWs perceived risk factors for occupationally acquired infectious diseases to be 1.) exposure to patients with undiagnosed infections 2.) break-down in infection control procedures 3.) immuno-naïvety and 4.) symptomatic colleagues. They were concerned that a lack of monitoring and guidelines for infectious HCWs posed a risk to staff and patients and felt employers failed to take a positive interest in their health. Staffing demands and loss of income were noted as pressures to attend work when unwell. In the UK, Hungary and Greece participants felt monitoring staff absence and the routine disclosure of symptoms could be appropriate provided the effectiveness and efficiency of such a system were demonstrable. In Germany, legislation, privacy and confidentiality were identified as barriers.
All HCWs highlighted the need for knowledge and structural improvements for timelier recognition of emerging infections. These included increased suspicion and awareness among staff and standardised, homogenous absence reporting systems.
Monitoring absence and infectious disease symptom reports among HCWs may be a feasible means of surveillance for emerging infections in some settings. A pre-requisite will be tackling the drivers for symptomatic HCWs to attend work.
This study aimed to analyze the factors associated with knowledge and attitudes about influenza A (H1N1) and vaccination, and possible relations of these factors with anxiety among healthcare workers (HCW).
The study used a cross-sectional descriptive design, and it was carried out between 23 November and 4 December 2009. A total of 300 HCW from two hospitals completed a questionnaire. Data collection tools comprised a questionnaire and the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI).
Vaccination rate for 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) among HCW was low (12.7%). Most of the respondents believed the vaccine was not safe and protective. Vaccination refusal was mostly related to the vaccine's side effects, disbelief to vaccine's protectiveness, negative news about the vaccine and the perceived negative attitude of the Prime Minister to the vaccine. State anxiety was found to be high in respondents who felt the vaccine was unsafe.
HCW considered the seriousness of the outbreak, their vaccination rate was low. In vaccination campaigns, governments have to aim at providing trust, and media campaigns should be used to reinforce this trust as well. Accurate reporting by the media of the safety and efficacy of influenza vaccines and the importance of vaccines for the public health would likely have a positive influence on vaccine uptake. Uncertain or negative reporting about the vaccine is detrimental to vaccination efforts.
To assess health-care worker (HCW) awareness, interest and engagement in quality improvement (QI) in HIV care sites in Tanzania.
Cross-sectional survey distributed in May 2009.
Sixteen urban HIV care sites in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 1 year after the introduction of a quality management program.
Two hundred seventy-nine HCWs (direct care, clinical support staff and management).
Main Outcome Measures
HCW perceptions of care delivered, rates of engagement, knowledge and interest in QI. HCW-identified barriers to and facilitators of the delivery of quality HIV care.
Two hundred seventy-nine (73%) of 382 HCWs responded to the survey. Most (86%) felt able to meet clients’ needs. HCW-identified facilitators of quality included: teamwork (88%), staff communication (79%), positive work environment (75%) and trainings (84%). Perceived barriers included: problems in patients’ lives (73%) and too few staff or too high patient volumes (52%). Many HCWs knew about specific QI activities (52%) or had been asked for input on QI (63%), but fewer (40.5%) had participated in activities and only 20.1% were currently QI team members. Managers were more likely to report QI involvement than direct care or clinical support staff (P < 0.01). No difference in QI involvement was seen based on patient load or site type.
HCWs can provide important insights into barriers and facilitators of providing quality care and can be effectively engaged in QI activities. HCW participation in efforts to improve services will ensure that HIV/AIDS quality of care is achieved and maintained as countries strive for universal antiretroviral access.
quality improvement; health-care workers; health-care surveys
There is a general consensus that another influenza pandemic is inevitable. Although health care workers (HCWs) are essential to the health system response, there are few studies exploring HCW attitudes to pandemic influenza. The aim of this study was to explore HCWs knowledge, attitudes and intended behaviour towards pandemic influenza.
Cross-sectional investigation of a convenience sample of clinical and non-clinical HCWs from two tertiary-referral teaching hospitals in Sydney, Australia was conducted between June 4 and October 19, 2007. The self-administered questionnaire was distributed to hospital personal from 40 different wards and departments. The main outcome measures were intentions regarding work attendance and quarantine, antiviral use and perceived preparation.
Respondents were categorized into four main groups by occupation: Nursing (47.5%), Medical (26.0%), Allied (15.3%) and Ancillary (11.2%). Our study found that most HCWs perceived pandemic influenza to be very serious (80.9%, n = 873) but less than half were able to correctly define it (43.9%, n = 473). Only 24.8% of respondents believed their department to be prepared for a pandemic, but nonetheless most were willing to work during a pandemic if a patient or colleague had influenza. The main determinants of variation in our study were occupational factors, demographics and health beliefs. Non-clinical staff were significantly most likely to be unsure of their intentions (OR 1.43, p < 0.001). Only 42.5% (n = 459) of respondents considered that neuraminidase inhibitor antiviral medications (oseltamivir/zanamivir) would protect them against pandemic influenza, whereas 77.5% (n = 836) believed that vaccination would be of benefit.
We identified two issues that could undermine the best of pandemic plans – the first, a low level of confidence in antivirals as an effective measure; secondly, that non-clinical workers are an overlooked group whose lack of knowledge and awareness could undermine pandemic plans. Other issues included a high level of confidence in dietary measures to protect against influenza, and a belief among ancillary workers that antibiotics would be protective. All health care worker strategies should include non clinical and ancillary staff to ensure adequate business continuity for hospitals. HCW education, psychosocial support and staff communication could improve knowledge of appropriate pandemic interventions and confidence in antivirals.
To probe seroepidemiology of the 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) among health care workers (HCWs) in a children's hospital.
From August 2009 to March 2010, serum samples were drawn from 150 HCWs in a children's hospital in Taipei before the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) pandemic, before H1N1 vaccination, and after the pandemic. HCWs who had come into direct contact with 2009 influenza A (H1N1) patients or their clinical respiratory samples during their daily work were designated as a high-risk group. Antibody levels were determined by hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) assay. A four-fold or greater increase in HAI titers between any successive paired sera was defined as seroconversion, and factors associated with seroconversion were analyzed.
Among the 150 HCWs, 18 (12.0%) showed either virological or serological evidence of 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) infection. Of the 90 unvaccinated HCWs, baseline and post-pandemic seroprotective rates were 5.6% and 20.0%. Seroconversion rates among unvaccinated HCWs were 14.4% (13/90), 22.5% (9/40), and 8.0% (4/50) for total, high-risk group, and low-risk group, respectively. Multivariate analysis revealed being in the high-risk group is an independent risk factor associated with seroconversion.
The infection rate of 2009 pandemic influenza A (H1N1) in HCWs was moderate and not higher than that for the general population. The majority of unvaccinated HCWs remained susceptible. Direct contact of influenza patients and their respiratory samples increased the risk of infection.
Influenza; Pandemic; H1N1; Health care workers; Children
Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) may progress to serious consequences and increase dramatically beyond endemic dimensions that transmits to or from health care workers (HCWs) during routine investigation in their work places. Basic aim of this study was to canvass the safety of HCWs and determine the prevalence of HBV and its possible association with occupational and non-occupational risk factors. Hepatitis B vaccination coverage level and main barriers to vaccination were also taken in account.
A total of 824 health care workers were randomly selected from three major hospitals of Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Blood samples were analyzed in Department of Zoology, Kohat University of Science and Technology Kohat, and relevant information was obtained by means of preset questionnaire. HCWs in the studied hospitals showed 2.18% prevalence of positive HBV. Nurses and technicians were more prone to occupational exposure and to HBV infection. There was significant difference between vaccinated and non-vaccinated HCWs as well as between the doctors and all other categories. Barriers to complete vaccination, in spite of good knowledge of subjects in this regard were work pressure (39.8%), negligence (38.8%) un-affordability (20.9%), and unavailability (0.5%).
Special preventive measures (universal precaution and vaccination), which are fundamental way to protect HCW against HBV infection should be adopted.
Shortages of health care workers (HCWs) represents a serious challenge to ensuring effective HIV care in resource-limited settings (RLS). Stress, motivation, and job satisfaction have been linked with HCW retention and are important in addressing HCW shortages. In this cross-sectional study HCW stress, motivation, and perceived ability to meet patient needs were assessed in PEPFAR-supported urban HIV care and treatment clinics (CTCs) in Tanzania.
A self-administered questionnaire measuring motivation, stress, and perceived ability to meet patient needs was given to HCWs at 16 CTCs. Scales measuring HCW satisfaction, motivation, and stress were developed using principle components analysis. Hierarchical linear models were used to explore the association of HCW and site characteristics with reported satisfaction, stress, motivation, and ability to meet patient needs.
Seventy-three percent (279) of HCWs completed the questionnaire. Most (73%) HCWs reported minimal/no work-related stress, with 48% reporting good/excellent motivation, but 41% also reporting feeling emotionally drained. Almost all (98%) reported feeling able to help their patients, with 68% reporting work as rewarding. Most reported receipt of training and supervision, with good availability of resources. In the multivariate model, direct clinical providers reported lower motivation than management (p<0.05) and HCWs at medium-sized sites reported higher motivation than HCWs at larger sites (p<0.05). HCWs at small and medium sites were more likely to feel able to help patients than those from larger sites (p<0.05 and p<0.001 respectively).
Despite significant patient loads, HCWs in these PEPFAR-supported CTCs reported high levels of motivation, job satisfaction, ability to meet patient needs, low levels of stress but significant emotional toll. Understanding the relationship between support systems such as strong supervision and training and these outcomes is critical in designing interventions to improve motivation, reduce stress and increase retention of HCWs.
HIV; motivation; stress; health care workers; resource limited settings