Evidence exists regarding the full prevention of hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission to hemodialysis patients by implementing standard precautions. However, little information is available regarding the frequency with which hospitals have adopted evidence-based practices for preventing HCV infection among hemodialysis patients. Bianco, et al. (2013) conducted a cross-sectional survey among nurses in Calabria region in Italy in order to acquire information about the level of knowledge, the attitudes and the frequencies of evidence-based practices that prevent hospital transmission of HCV.
All 37 hemodialysis units (HDU) of Calabria were included in the study and all nurses were invited to participate in the study and to fill in a self-administered questionnaire.
Ninety percent of the nurses working in HDU participated in the study. Correct answers about HCV pattern of transmission ranged from 73.7 percent to 99.3 percent and were significantly higher in respondents who knew that isolation of HCV-infected patients is not recommended and among those who knew that previous bloodstream infections should be included in medical record and among nurses with fewer years of practice. Most correctly thought that evidence-based infection control measures provide adequate protection against transmission of bloodborne pathogens among healthcare workers. Positive attitude was significantly higher among more knowledgeable nurses. Self-reporting of appropriate handwashing procedures were significantly more likely in nurses who were aware that transmission of bloodborne pathogens among healthcare workers may be prevented through adoption of evidence-based practices and with a correct knowledge about HCV transmission patterns.
The researchers conclude that behavior changes should be aimed at abandoning outdated practices and adopting and maintaining evidence-based practices. Initiatives focused at enabling and reinforcing adherence to effective prevention practices among nurses in HDU are strongly needed. Their research was published in BMC Infectious Diseases.
Reference: Bianco A, Bova F, et al. Healthcare workers and prevention of hepatitis C virus transmission: exploring knowledge, attitudes and evidence-based practices in hemodialysis units in Italy. BMC Infectious Diseases 2013, 13:76 doi:10.1186/1471-2334-13-76