Health Services Research & Development

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Caya T, Knobloch MJ, Musuuza J, Wilhelmson E, Safdar N. Patient perceptions of chlorhexidine bathing: A pilot study using the health belief model. American journal of infection control. 2019 Jan 1; 47(1):18-22.
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Abstract: BACKGROUND: Many studies investigating daily chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) bathing as an infection control intervention to decrease health care-associated infections have focused on reduction of infection and colonization; few studies have assessed CHG bathing compliance, work system factors, facilitators, and barriers to implementation. METHODS: This is a combination retrospective/prospective pilot study conducted at a large academic teaching hospital that implemented daily CHG bathing across all inpatient units. CHG compliance and patient refusal were calculated on the basis of documentation in the electronic medical record. We used the health belief model to guide semistructured interviews with patients about knowledge and barriers related to CHG bathing. RESULTS: Of the 31 patients interviewed, 74% reported using CHG soap during their stay. Average compliance documented in the electronic medical record was 78% with a range of 57%-91% among all hospital units. Sixteen percent of patients declined CHG bathing, and refusal ranged from 3%-29% among all units. Major themes about CHG bathing from patient interviews include low perceived susceptibility to infection, high degree of trust in medical professionals, low knowledge of benefits of CHG, and low perceived self-efficacy in preventing HAIs. CONCLUSIONS: Educating patients about CHG bathing appears to be a critical factor in decreasing patient refusal of CHG bathing.