To ask or not to ask?: The results of a formative assessment of a video empowering patients to ask their health care providers to perform hand hygiene

J Patient Saf. 2010 Jun;6(2):80-5. doi: 10.1097/PTS.0b013e3181cb43c9.


Objectives: To formatively evaluate the Hand Hygiene Saves Lives video and explore the perceptions and expectations of health care providers and laypersons regarding hand hygiene (HH), health care-associated infections, and patient empowerment using the Health Belief Model as a framework.

Methods: Four focus groups were conducted in February 2008 among laypersons (n = 18) and health care providers (n = 17). Qualitative data were coded for themes, and quantitative Likert scales ranging from 1 (not at all) to 5 (very) were analyzed using SPSS.

Results: Health care-associated infections were perceived to be somewhat common (mean, 3.4) and HH as very important (mean, 4.9). Laypersons reported being significantly more likely to ask their nurses (2.5 versus 4.3; P = 0.001) and physicians (3.3 versus 4.3; P = 0.010) to perform HH after viewing the video. The video's target audience was perceived to be families (42.0%) or patients (39.1%) and the message to be the importance of HH (45.5%) or creating comfort about asking (24.2%).

Conclusions: Empowering patients using tools such as a video may be an important patient safety advance to improve HH in health care settings and prevent health care-associated infections.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross Infection / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Focus Groups
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Hand Disinfection*
  • Humans
  • Hygiene*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patients*
  • Power, Psychological*
  • Professional-Patient Relations*
  • Young Adult