Background: Knowledge of infection prevention and control (IPC) procedures among healthcare workers (HCWs) is crucial for effective IPC. Compliance with IPC measures has critical implications for HCWs safety, patient protection and the care environment.
Aims: To discuss the body of available literature regarding HCWs' knowledge of IPC and highlight potential factors that may influence compliance to IPC precautions.
Design: A systematic review. A protocol was developed based on the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analysis [PRISMA] statement.
Data sources: Electronic databases (PubMed, CINAHL, Embase, Proquest, Wiley online library, Medline, and Nature) were searched from 1 January 2006 to 31 January 2021 in the English language using the following keywords alone or in combination: knowledge, awareness, healthcare workers, infection, compliance, comply, control, prevention, factors. 3417 papers were identified and 30 papers were included in the review.
Results: Overall, the level of HCW knowledge of IPC appears to be adequate, good, and/or high concerning standard precautions, hand hygiene, and care pertaining to urinary catheters. Acceptable levels of knowledge were also detected in regards to IPC measures for specific diseases including TB, MRSA, MERS-CoV, COVID-19 and Ebola. However, gaps were identified in several HCWs' knowledge concerning occupational vaccinations, the modes of transmission of infectious diseases, and the risk of infection from needle stick and sharps injuries. Several factors for noncompliance surrounding IPC guidelines are discussed, as are recommendations for improving adherence to those guidelines.
Conclusion: Embracing a multifaceted approach towards improving IPC-intervention strategies is highly suggested. The goal being to improve compliance among HCWs with IPC measures is necessary.
Keywords: Adherence; Awareness; Compliance; Control; Factors; Healthcare; Infection; Knowledge; Prevention; Workers.