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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 359-365

A mixed-method study to assess the knowledge-practice gap regarding hand hygiene among healthcare providers in a tertiary care hospital

1 Department of Community Medicine, DMC and H, Ludhiana; Department of Community Medicine, GMC, Patiala, Punjab, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, DMC and H, Ludhiana, Punjab, India
3 Department of Critical Care Medicine, DMC and H, Ludhiana, Punjab, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sarit Sharma
Assistant Professor, Department of Critical Care Medicine, DMC & H, Ludhiana, Punjab
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/joacp.JOACP_331_19

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Background and Aims: The burden of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) is very high and compliance with infection control practices is poor in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Hand hygiene (HH) being the most important measure to prevent HAIs, the present study was conducted to assess the gap in knowledge, perceptions, and practices of healthcare providers (HCPs) regarding HH and also to know the barriers in adherence to HH practices. Material and Methods: This questionnaire-based cross-sectional study was carried out among 400 HCPs for 1 year. HH practices of HCPs were observed by a trained investigator followed by filling of the preformed proforma by HCPs. The quantitative data were analyzed using Epi info (Version 7) statistical software while qualitative analysis was done to generate themes. Results: The compliance to HH was higher among nurses (78.3%) than consultants (49.5%) and residents (39.1%). Compliance was more in ICUs (71.4%) than wards (58.3%). Knowledge about HH was found to be 73.8% among consultants and 71.6% among residents, whereas HH opportunities availed by them were only 49.5% and 39.1%, respectively revealing a knowledge-practice gap. The main barriers to adherence to HH as perceived by HCPs were lack of awareness despite adequate knowledge, time constraints, heavy workload, and so on. Conclusions: In our study, we found that despite adequate knowledge, consultants and residents showed lower compliance with HH practices as compared to nurses. Increasing awareness regarding HH guidelines through frequent sensitization sessions decreased workload, and strict surveillance may help in bridging the knowledge-practice gap.

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