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Hand Hygiene Social Norms Among Healthcare Workers During Early COVID-19: Results of a Global Survey

Gon, Giorgia; Szekely, Aron; Lowe, Hattie; Tosi, Marco; (2022) Hand Hygiene Social Norms Among Healthcare Workers During Early COVID-19: Results of a Global Survey. International Journal of Public Health , 67 , Article 1604981. 10.3389/ijph.2022.1604981. Green open access

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Abstract

Objectives: Poor hand hygiene among healthcare workers is an important driver of infectious disease transmission. Although social norms are considered a key determinant of hand hygiene behaviour, little is known about them among healthcare workers. This study describes hand hygiene social norms among health workers, assesses their predictors, and tests if social expectations increased during the early stages of COVID-19. / Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional survey of healthcare workers from 77 countries (n = 1,233) from April to August 2020 assessing healthcare workers' hand hygiene social expectations, personal normative beliefs, punishment and reward, and demographic factors. Linear regressions and hierarchical linear modelling were used to analyse the responses. / Results: We find high social expectations, personal beliefs, punishment, and rewards. Doctors tend to have lower social expectations than other occupation groups (e.g., nurses/midwives) and older respondents have higher social expectations. Social expectations increased during our survey, which may have been driven by COVID-19. / Conclusion: Our findings suggest that hand hygiene social norms are strong among healthcare workers with variation across occupation and age; their strength increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. These have implications for behaviour change in healthcare environments that could leverage more norm-targeting interventions.

Type: Article
Title: Hand Hygiene Social Norms Among Healthcare Workers During Early COVID-19: Results of a Global Survey
Location: Switzerland
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/ijph.2022.1604981
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3389/ijph.2022.1604981
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2022 Gon, Szekely, Lowe and Tosi. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Keywords: healthcare workers, COVID-19, survey, hand hygiene, social norms
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10162097
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