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Changing the paradigm: messages for hand hygiene education and audit from cluster analysis

Gould, Dinah ORCID:, Navaïe, D., Purssell, E., Drey, N.S. and Creedon, S. 2018. Changing the paradigm: messages for hand hygiene education and audit from cluster analysis. Journal of Hospital Infection 98 (4) , pp. 345-351. 10.1016/j.jhin.2017.07.026

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Background Hand hygiene is considered to be the foremost infection prevention measure. How healthcare workers accept and make sense of the hand hygiene message is likely to contribute to the success and sustainability of initiatives to improve performance, which is often poor. Methods A survey of nurses in critical care units in three National Health Service trusts in England was undertaken to explore opinions about hand hygiene, use of alcohol hand rubs, audit with performance feedback, and other key hand-hygiene-related issues. Data were analysed descriptively and subjected to cluster analysis. Results Three main clusters of opinion were visualized, each forming a significant group: positive attitudes, pragmatism and scepticism. A smaller cluster suggested possible guilt about ability to perform hand hygiene. Conclusion Cluster analysis identified previously unsuspected constellations of beliefs about hand hygiene that offer a plausible explanation for behaviour. Healthcare workers might respond to education and audit differently according to these beliefs. Those holding predominantly positive opinions might comply with hand hygiene policy and perform well as infection prevention link nurses and champions. Those holding pragmatic attitudes are likely to respond favourably to the need for professional behaviour and need to protect themselves from infection. Greater persuasion may be needed to encourage those who are sceptical about the importance of hand hygiene to comply with guidelines. Interventions to increase compliance should be sufficiently broad in scope to tackle different beliefs. Alternatively, cluster analysis of hand hygiene beliefs could be used to identify the most effective educational and monitoring strategies for a particular clinical setting.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Healthcare Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier: 12 months
ISSN: 0195-6701
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 September 2017
Date of Acceptance: 24 July 2017
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2023 04:06

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