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Article

Behaviors and Attitudes of Polish Health Care Workers with Respect to the Hazards from Blood-Borne Pathogens: A Questionnaire-Based Study

1
Department of Hygiene and Health Promotion; Medical University of Lodz, 90-752 Lodz, Poland
2
Department of Econometrics, University of Lodz, 90-214 Lodz, Poland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(5), 891; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050891
Received: 30 January 2019 / Revised: 6 March 2019 / Accepted: 8 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Worker and Public Health and Safety: Current Views)
Blood-borne infections represent an important occupational health issue in health care settings. The aim of this study was to analyze behaviors of health care workers (HCWs) in the field of needlestick injuries (NSIs) as well as to learn about their attitudes to patients infected with blood-borne viruses. A total of 487 HCWs based at 26 hospitals in Poland completed an anonymous self-administered questionnaire in the period of October–December 2015. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and multiple logistic regression. Of the HCWs, 44.8% suffered superficial wounds, and 17.9% HCWs were cut deeply at least once. The most frequent causes of injuries were: rush (31.4%), unpredictable patient behavior (29%), and lack of attention (27%). The rate of underreporting NSIs was 45.2%. Males showed more than three times higher chance of not reporting injuries (odds ratio (OR) 3.495, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.65–7.49). The nurses more often took off their protective gloves to make the procedure easier (p = 0.036). Taking off protective clothes was positively associated with long work experience (OR 1.16, 95% CI: 0.995–1.36). Recapping concerned 15.5% of doctors, 8.2% of nurses, and 11.2% of paramedics. 25.9% HCWs feared infection in the workplace, and every tenth HCW refused to help the infected patient. The longer the work experience, the greater the concern about the possibility of infection (OR 1.33, 95% CI: 0.99–1.78). Most HCWs were more cautious when dealing with an infected patient and in their opinion infected patients should be required to inform HCWs of their serological status and such information should be compulsorily transferred between different health institutions. The emphasis in the training of HCWs in the future should be on classes perfecting practical skills like paying more attention to reporting NSIs, improving occupational behaviors like avoiding needle recapping, and on the development of appropriate attitudes towards patients infected with HIV, HBV, or HCV. View Full-Text
Keywords: needlestick injuries; sharp injury; health care workers; occupational exposure; risk factors; knowledge; behaviors; underreporting; hospitals; Poland needlestick injuries; sharp injury; health care workers; occupational exposure; risk factors; knowledge; behaviors; underreporting; hospitals; Poland
MDPI and ACS Style

Garus-Pakowska, A.; Górajski, M. Behaviors and Attitudes of Polish Health Care Workers with Respect to the Hazards from Blood-Borne Pathogens: A Questionnaire-Based Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 891. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050891

AMA Style

Garus-Pakowska A, Górajski M. Behaviors and Attitudes of Polish Health Care Workers with Respect to the Hazards from Blood-Borne Pathogens: A Questionnaire-Based Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; 16(5):891. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050891

Chicago/Turabian Style

Garus-Pakowska, Anna, and Mariusz Górajski. 2019. "Behaviors and Attitudes of Polish Health Care Workers with Respect to the Hazards from Blood-Borne Pathogens: A Questionnaire-Based Study" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16, no. 5: 891. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16050891

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