Health Services Research & Development

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Baloh J, Thom KA, Perencevich E, Rock C, Robinson G, Ward M, Herwaldt L, Reisinger HS. Hand hygiene before donning nonsterile gloves: Healthcareworkers' beliefs and practices. American journal of infection control. 2019 May 1; 47(5):492-497.
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Abstract: BACKGROUND: Understanding the perceptions and beliefs of health care workers (HCWs) regarding glove use and associated hand hygiene (HH) may be informative and ultimately improve practice. Research in this area is limited. This study examined the practices and beliefs of HCWs surrounding the use of nonsterile gloves and HH before gloving. METHODS: The study was conducted at 3 large academic US hospitals using a parallel convergent mixed-method design. To estimate compliance rates, the gloving and HH practices of HCWs were observed at entry to patient rooms for 6 months. Interviews were conducted with 25 providers, nurses, and nursing assistants to investigate their beliefs and perceptions of these practices. RESULTS: Observed HH compliance rates before gloving were 42%, yet in the interviews most HCWs reported 100% compliance. Observed compliance with gloving before entering contact precaution rooms was 78%, although all HCWs reported always gloving for standard and contact precautions. Most HCWs described using gloves more often than necessary. HCWs generally use gloves for their own safety and sanitize hands before gloving for patient safety. Numerous barriers to compliance with HH before gloving were discussed, including beliefs that gloves provide enough protection. CONCLUSIONS: HH and glove use are highly intertwined in clinical practice and should be considered jointly in infection prevention improvement efforts.