International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)

International Journal of Science and Research (IJSR)
Call for Papers | Fully Refereed | Open Access | Double Blind Peer Reviewed

ISSN: 2319-7064




Downloads: 147 | Views: 271

Research Paper | Medicine Science | Ghana | Volume 5 Issue 8, August 2016 | Rating: 6.7 / 10


A Study to Assess Hand Hygiene Knowledge and Practices among Health Care Workers in a Teaching Hospital in Ghana

Immanuel Amissah BSc MD | Soziema Salia MBChB | Joshua Panyin Craymah MSc


Abstract: Background Despite widespread evidence that proper hand hygiene practices is the simplest and most-effective intervention to reduce transmission of hospital-acquired infections, healthcare workers adherence to proper hand hygiene practices remains poor. This study was to 1) assess the knowledge of proper hand hygiene among health care workers according to WHO guidelines, 2) to assess hand hygiene practices among healthcare workers at the hospital, 3) to assess any correlations between knowledge of hand hygiene and professional type, and department of health care provider and 4) to assess factors that hinder proper hand hygiene practices. Methods The study was conducted at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital from January, 2016 through April, 2016. A total of 130 healthcare workers participated in the study. A cross-sectional survey was conducted using a self-administered questionnaire based on the hand hygiene guidelines by the World Health Organization (WHO). Results Majority of the respondents (51.2 %) knowledge on hand hygiene was fair. Compliance to proper hand hygiene practices was hampered by heavy patient load (33.5 %), forgetfulness (23.6 %), inadequate water (21.9 %), lack of clean towels (15.1 %), absence of air dryer (14.0 %). The techniques commonly used for hand hygiene reported were the use of cold running water (27.3 %), use of alcohol-based hand rub (22.9 %). Only 18 (5.3 %) used warm running water. Hand drying technique used included use of common towels (30.3 %), use of personnel handkerchiefs (21.5 %), allowing hands to dry on their own (19.3 %), use of disposable towels (10.9 %). Also there was a statistically significant correlation between healthcare workers professional status and knowledge on hand hygiene (p=0.005). Conclusion This study showed that knowledge in hand hygiene practices was found to be fair, with heavy patient load, forgetfulness and unavailability of water and lack of clean towels being the major contributing factors hampering proper hand hygiene practices. Also low patronage for alcohol-based hand rubs was found. A hospital-wide awareness program aiming at healthcare workers and adoption of alcohol-based hand rubs at the point of care can help improve compliance to hand hygiene.


Keywords: Knowledge, hand hygiene, healthcare workers, Cape Coast, Ghana


Edition: Volume 5 Issue 8, August 2016,


Pages: 301 - 307


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