OBJECTIVE: Needlestick and sharp injuries (NSIs) experienced by physicians have been identified as a major occupational hazard. Blood-borne pathogens resulting from the NSIs experienced by physicians pose severe physical and psychological threats to them, as well as people who are around them. However, there is little research focusing on physicians’ behaviours to prevent NSIs. In the present study, we investigated the roles of safety climate, job demands experienced by physicians, and physicians’ self-efficacy in affecting physicians’ behaviours to prevent NSIs.
METHODS: 401 physicians from four teaching hospitals in Northern Taiwan were recruited to participate in an anonymous survey. Among them, 189 physicians returned the completed survey with a response rate of 47.1%.
RESULTS: Overall, respondents reported frequently engaging in NSI prevention behaviours. As expected, safety climate in hospitals and physicians’ self-efficacy to prevent NSIs were significantly related to their behaviours to prevent NSIs (r = 0.22 and r = 0.33, respectively). The moderating analysis also revealed that physicians with high self-efficacy tended to engage in NSI prevention behaviours regardless of levels of job demand they experienced. In contrast to our expectation, however, physicians with low self-efficacy engaged in more NSI prevention behaviours when job demands were high than when the demands were low.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings show the important roles safety climate, job demands and self-efficacy play in shaping physicians’ NSI prevention behaviours. Hospitals may consider improving safety climate via strengthening management commitments to NSIs prevention, reducing job demands by training physicians to proactively redesign their own jobs, and increasing physicians’ self-efficacy via well-designed skill-based training.