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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-4

There is more to hand hygiene than routine training of health workers and display of promotional materials

Department of Microbiology, PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Marina Thomas
Department of Microbiology, PSG Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2214-207X.203539

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Background/Objective: Hand hygiene (HH) non-compliance is a major cause of hospital-acquired infections, and a gap between knowledge and practice is observed widely. Health researchers are now using a new approach called 'Positive Deviance' (PD) to tackle such behavioural/cultural/social problems leading to adverse health issues. Therefore, can PD approach be used to improve knowledge and compliance of HH practices also? This study is designed to find what are the reasons for PD among nursing staff of our hospital and whether these behavioural changes can be imbibed by others if motivated and trained appropriately. Materials and Methods: The level of compliance to HH and PD among 25 Intensive Care Unit nurses was noted. This was followed by a second and a third interface consisting of focus group discussions and one-to-one interviews to motivate them based on the PD noted and to detect the possible betterment of compliance to HH. Results: The practice of HH was followed by 20% of the nurses, and they were identified as positive deviants and when reasons which made them to be compliant were reinforced and impressed on the rest of the nurses, a further 32% became compliant. Awareness of the fact that HH prevents colonisation with potential pathogens was shown by 100% after the intervention. Conclusions: A PD strategy yielded an improvement in HH compliance. An improvement in knowledge and practice of HH was noted. Multimodal interventions are needed to induce sustained HH practice improvements and this will reduce the gap between knowledge and practice of HH in hospitals and thereby reduce hospital-acquired infections.

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