Despite Training, HCWs Report Poor Knowledge About H1N1 Influenza

Xiaochun Ma, MD, of the the First Affiliated Hospital of China Medical University in Shenyang, China, and colleagues sought to describe the knowledge and attitudes of critical-care clinicians during the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic.

The researchers conducted a survey in 21 intensive care units in 17 provinces in China. Out of 733 questionnaires distributed, 695 were completed. Three hundred and fifty-six respondents (51.2 percent) reported their experience of caring for H1N1 patients. Despite the fact that 88.5 percent of all respondents ultimately finished an H1N1 training program, only 41.9 percent admitted that they had the knowledge of 2009 H1N1 influenza. Their research was published in BMC Infectious Diseases.

A total of 572 respondents (82.3 percent) expressed willingness to care for H1N1 patients. Independent variables associated with increasing likelihood to care for patients in the logistic regression analysis were physicians or nurses rather than other professionals (odds ratio 4.056 and 3.235, p = 0.002 and 0.007, respectively), knowledge training prior to patient care (odds ratio 1.531, p = 0.044), and the confidence to know how to protect themselves and their patients (odds ratio 2.109, p = 0.001).

Ma and colleagues conclude that critical-care clinicians reported poor knowledge of H1N1 influenza, even though most finished a relevant knowledge training program. They say that implementation of appropriate education program might improve compliance to infection control measures, and willingness to work in a pandemic.

Reference: Ma X, He Z, Wang Y, et al. Knowledge and Attitudes of Healthcare Workers in Chinese Intensive Care Units Regarding 2009 H1N1 Influenza Pandemic. BMC Infectious Diseases 2011, 11:24doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-24

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