WASHINGTON — Two studies have shown that increased hand hygiene knowledge positively correlates with a decreased risk of transmitting infection among both health care workers and elementary school children, according to a press release.
In the first study, conducted by Anne McLaughlin, PhD, assistant professor of psychology at North Carolina State University, 71 nurses, infection preventionists and hospital environmental services managers participated in a national survey gauging hand hygiene knowledge and beliefs, the release stated.
According to the release, each health care worker assessed 16 real-life simulations designed to test their perceived risk of infection, based on their level of hygiene knowledge as well as their internal health locus of control — a measurement of how much influence they perceive themselves as having over controlling the spread of infection.
"Despite the dangers that fomites present, this knowledge may not be common enough among health care workers for them to understand the level of risk when touching surfaces and then touching patients," said the study.
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