This Cochrane Review details the factors healthcare workers point that influence their ability and willingness to follow infection prevention and control guidelines when managing respiratory infectious diseases.
The objective of this review was to identify barriers and facilitators to healthcare workers’ adherence to infection prevention and control guidelines for respiratory infectious diseases. They included qualitative and mixed‐methods studies that focused on the experiences and perceptions of healthcare workers. Studies needed to focus infection prevention and control guidelines for respiratory infectious diseases in any healthcare setting.
They found 36 relevant studies and sampled 20 of them for the analysis. Ten were from Asia, four from Africa, four from Central and North America and two from Australia. Views and experiences included those of nurses, doctors and other healthcare workers dealing with SARS, H1N1, MERS, TB, or seasonal influenza. Findings included:
- Healthcare workers felt unsure as to how to follow local guidelines which were long and ambiguous or did not reflect national or international guidelines.
- They could feel overwhelmed when local guidelines were constantly changing.
- They described how infection prevention and control strategies led to increased workloads and fatigue.
- Their responses to infection prevention and control guidelines were influenced by the level of support they felt that they received from management.
- Clear communication about infection prevention and control guidelines was seen as vital.
- Sufficient space to isolate patients was also seen as vital.
- There were serious concerns about a lack of PPE, and equipment that was of poor quality.
- They followed infection prevention and control guideliens more closely when they saw the value of it.
- They pointed to the importance of including all staff, including cleaning staff, porters, kitchen staff and other support staff when implementing infection prevention and control guidelines.