Standard precautions are recommended to prevent transmission of infection in hospitals. However, their implementation is dependent on the knowledge and attitudes of healthcare workers (HCW). This study describes the knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) of standard precautions of infection control among HCW of two tertiary hospitals in Nigeria is described.
A cross-sectional study was undertaken in 2011/2012 among HCW in two tertiary hospitals in Nigeria. Data was collected via a structured self-administered questionnaire assessing core elements of KAP of standard precautions. Percentage KAP scores were calculated and professional differences in median percentage KAP scores were ascertained.
A total of 290 HCW participated in the study (76% response rate), including 111 (38.3%) doctors, 147 (50.7%) nurses and 32 (11%) laboratory scientists. Overall median knowledge and attitude scores toward standard precautions were above 90%, but median practice score was 50.8%. The majority of the HCW had poor knowledge of injection safety and complained of inadequate resources to practise standard precautions. House officers, laboratory scientists and junior cadres of nurses had lower knowledge and compliance with standard precautions than more experienced doctors and nurses.
Our results suggest generally poor compliance with standard precautions of infection control among HCW in Nigeria. Policies that foster training of HCW in standard precautions and guarantee regular provision of infection control and prevention resources in health facilities are required in Nigeria.