Behavioural Determinants of Hand Washing and Glove Recontamination before Aseptic Procedures at Birth: A Time-and-Motion Study and Survey in Zanzibar Labour Wards

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Feb 24;17(4):1438. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17041438.


Recent research calls for distinguishing whether the failure to comply with World Health Organisation hand hygiene guidelines is driven by omitting to rub/wash hands, or subsequently recontamination of clean hands or gloves prior to a procedure. This study examined the determinants of these two behaviours. Across the 10 highest-volume labour wards in Zanzibar, we observed 103 birth attendants across 779 hand hygiene opportunities before aseptic procedures (time-and-motion methods). They were then interviewed using a structured cross-sectional survey. We used mixed-effect multivariable logistic regressions to investigate the independent association of candidate determinants with hand rubbing/washing and avoiding glove recontamination. After controlling for confounders, we found that availability of single-use material to dry hands (OR:2.9; CI:1.58-5.14), a higher workload (OR:29.4; CI:12.9-67.0), more knowledge about hand hygiene (OR:1.89; CI:1.02-3.49), and an environment with more reminders from colleagues (OR:1.20; CI:0.98-1.46) were associated with more hand rubbing/washing. Only the length of time elapsed since donning gloves (OR:4.5; CI:2.5-8.0) was associated with avoiding glove recontamination. We identified multiple determinants of hand washing/rubbing. Only time elapsed since washing/rubbing was reliably associated with avoiding glove recontamination. In this setting, these two behaviours require different interventions. Future studies should measure them separately.

Keywords: birth; determinants; hand hygiene.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cross Infection*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Gloves, Protective*
  • Guideline Adherence
  • Hand
  • Hand Disinfection*
  • Health Personnel*
  • Humans
  • Labor, Obstetric*
  • Pregnancy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tanzania