Patients' feelings about hand washing, MRSA status and patient information

Duncan, Christopher Paul; Dealey, Carol
January 2007
British Journal of Nursing;1/11/2007, Vol. 16 Issue 1, p34
Academic Journal
The purpose of this study was to explore patient opinion about asking healthcare professionals to wash their hands before a clinical procedure and to explore if methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) status and access to patient information about infection control would influence the patients' anxiety about asking. A descriptive survey was undertaken using a semi-structured questionnaire. The questionnaire was distributed to a randomized convenience sample of 185 inpatients across all departments of an acute NHS Trust hospital (response rate 58.9%). Spearman's rank order and Kendall Tau-b tests were used to analyse specific correlations. Respondents were more confident than anxious about being involved in a campaign that empowered patients to ask staff to wash their hands. Patients were more anxious to ask if their previous admission episodes were fewer, if their knowledge of MRSA was high and if there was less information about infection control available. Patients who had contracted MRSA in the past were less anxious, as they had a better understanding of the disease. In addition, more patients felt less anxious about asking staff to wash their hands if staff wore a badge saying 'It's OK to ask'.


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