1205. Healthcare Personnel Knowledge, Attitudes, and Beliefs Towards Infection Prevention and Control Measures for Protection from Respiratory Infections
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1205. Healthcare Personnel Knowledge, Attitudes, and Beliefs Towards Infection Prevention and Control Measures for Protection from Respiratory Infections

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  • Alternative Title:
    Open Forum Infect Dis
  • Description:

    Healthcare personnel (HCP) knowledge and attitudes toward Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) measures are important determinants of practices that can protect them from acquisition of infectious diseases from patients. We aimed to describe HCP knowledge and attitudes concerning IPC measures over time in the context of a clinical trial.


    ResPECT was a multi-center, multi-season cluster randomized clinical trial designed to compare the effectiveness of medical masks (MM) and N95 respirators (N95) for preventing acute respiratory illnesses in HCP employed in outpatient clinical settings. At the beginning of each respiratory virus season, participants completed a survey instrument to measure IPC knowledge. At the beginning and end of each season participants completed a survey to assess attitudes and beliefs about IPC measures, especially MM and N95.


    A pre-study and post-study survey pair was available for 88.1% of participant seasons. There were no significant differences in demographic variables or job assignment between survey respondents and nonrespondents for each participant season. Participants correctly identified 59.8% to 63.4% of IPC measures that should be used by HCP when exposed to patients with symptoms of acute respiratory illness, or at high risk of infection. There was modest improvement in the knowledge score over time among providers who participated for multiple years in the study. In the first pre-study survey of IPC attitudes and beliefs, 88.5% and 87.9% of participants identified at least one reason to avoid using either MM and N95, respectively (Figure 1). At the post-season survey, the proportion of participants reporting a reason to avoid MM fell to 39.6% (IRR for pre- vs. post-season 0.15, 95% CI 0.13–0.17) and 53.6% reported a reason to avoid N95 (IRR 0.57, 95% CI 0.51–0.66).


    HCPknowledge of IPC precautions was poor, suggesting a need for better IPC education and accountability in the outpatient setting. When given incentives to comply with processes toward which they had negative attitudes at baseline, HCP realized that medical masks and N95 respirators were comfortable enough to wear for patient encounters and interfered with their work processes less than expected.


    Trish M. Perl, MD; MSc, 7–11: Advisory Board; medimmune: Research Grant.

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