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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 40-44

Surveillance of microbial contamination of mobile phones, reported behaviour and hand hygiene practices of healthcare personnel related to mobile phone use: A prospective observational study

1 College of Nursing, AIIMS, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Pediatrics, AIIMS, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Microbiology, AIIMS, New Delhi, India
4 Department of Pediatric Surgery, AIIMS, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Sunil Kumar Poonia
College of Nursing, AIIMS, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jpsic.jpsic_6_17

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Objectives: To compare the microbial flora on the mobile phones of Health care personnel (HCP) and general public (GP) and to study the reported behaviour and observed hand hygiene practices of the HCP related to mobile phone use in paediatric medical and surgical Intensive Care Units (ICUs). Methodology: Front surface of the mobile phones of enrolled HCP and GP was sampled for culture using sterile swabs. Behaviour of the HCP was assessed using a self-report structured behaviour assessment tool. A total of 360 observations on the hand hygiene practices of the HCP related to mobile phone use in ICUs were carried out over 8 weeks using an observation checklist. Results: Of the 47 HCPs enrolled in the study, 78.7% were nurses and 21.3% were doctors. Majority of the HCPs had smartphones (85%;). Nearly 77% of mobile phones of HCP and GP were contaminated with various pathogenic, commensal and environmental bacteria. Most of HCPs were using mobile phones 1–3 times during working hours for communication, E-mailing and searching information. Two-thirds of the HCP (66) were not cleaning their phones; 38 seldom practiced hand hygiene before using the mobile phones, while better hand hygiene practices were reported after using the mobile phones (60%). More than 50% of the observed hand hygiene practices related to mobile phone usage were inappropriate or wrong. Conclusion: Mobile phones of the HCP and GP were equally contaminated; more pathogenic microorganisms were seen on the mobile surfaces of HCP. Reported behaviour and hand hygiene practices of HCP related to mobile phone use in the ICUs were inappropriate or wrong.

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