Attitudes towards needlestick injuries among junior doctors

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To estimate the prevalence of under-reporting of NSIs and to evaluate the knowledge, attitude and behaviour towards NSIs among junior doctors in a tertiary hospital in Singapore” One et al (2019).

Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Needlestick injuries (NSIs) are common healthcare-related injuries and possible consequences include blood-borne infections. Despite that, a large proportion of NSIs are not reported.

AIMS: To estimate the prevalence of under-reporting of NSIs and to evaluate the knowledge, attitude and behaviour towards NSIs among junior doctors in a tertiary hospital in Singapore.

METHODS: An explanatory sequential mixed-methods design was employed. Quantitative data were collected through questionnaires completed by 99 junior doctors. Descriptive statistics and bivariate analysis were performed to evaluate socio-demographic characteristics, NSI history and NSI reporting practices. Qualitative data were collected through 12 in-depth interviews. Participants were purposively recruited, and semi-structured topic guides were developed. Data were analysed using a thematic approach.

RESULTS: Fifty-two per cent of respondents had history of NSI. Of those with history of NSI, 31% did not report injury. NSI reporters were 1.52 times as likely to be aware of how to report injury (P < 0.05), and 1.63 times as likely to feel that reporting benefits their health (P < 0.01) compared with non-reporters. NSI reporters were 83% more likely to report a clean NSI (P = 0.05). For non-reporters, the main reasons for not reporting were perceived low risk of transmission (41%) and lack of time to report (35%). Themes identified in the qualitative data include perceived benefits, perceived barriers, perceived threats, cues to action and organizational culture. CONCLUSION: Under-reporting of NSIs may have significant implications for patients and healthcare workers. Addressing identified factors and instituting targeted interventions will help to improve reporting rates.

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Reference:

Ong, M.W., Hwang, J., Lim, S.M. and Sng, J. (2019) Knowledge, attitudes and behaviour towards needlestick injuries among junior doctors. Occupational Medicine. June 27th. doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqz090. .

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