Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

INTRODUCTION: In hospital settings, awareness of, and responsiveness to, COVID-19 are crucial to reducing the risk of transmission among healthcare workers and protecting them from infection. Healthcare professionals can offer insights into the practicalities of infection prevention and control (IPC) measures and on how the guideline aimed to ensure adherence to IPC, including use of personal protective equipment (PPE), could best be delivered during the pandemic. To inform future development of such guideline, this study examined the perspectives of healthcare professionals working in a large hospital during the pandemic regarding their infection risks, the barriers or facilitators to implementing their tasks and the IPC measures to protect their safety and health and of their patients. METHOD: In-depth interviews were conducted with 23 hospital staff coming into contact with possible or confirmed cases of COVID-19, or were at potential risk of contracting the disease, including medical doctors, nurses, virology laboratory staff, and non-medical workers. This qualitative study was carried out as part of a knowledge, attitudes and practice survey to prevent COVID-19 transmission at Ramathibodi Hospital in Thailand. We used content analysis to categorize and code transcribed interview data. Existing IPC guideline and evidence synthesis of organisational, environmental, and individual factors to IPC adherence among healthcare workers were used to guide the development of the interview questions and analysis. FINDING: Factors identified as influencing the use of, and adherence to, prevention measures among healthcare workers included knowledge, perceived risk and concerns about the infection. The extent to which these factors were influential varied based on the medical procedures, among other features, that individuals were assigned to perform in the hospital setting. Beyond availability of PPE and physical safety, ease of and readiness to utilize the equipment and implement IPC measures were crucial to motivate hospital staff to follow the practice guideline. Having a ventilated outdoor space for screening and testing, and interaction through mobile technology, facilitated the performance of healthcare workers while reducing the transmission risk for staff and patients. Adequate training, demonstration of guided practices, and streamlined communications are crucial organisational and management support factors to encourage appropriate use of, and adherence to, implementation of infection prevention and control measures among healthcare workers. CONCLUSION: This finding could help inform the development of recommendations to optimise compliance with appropriate use of these measures, and to improve guidance to reduce HCW's risk of disease in hospital settings. Further study should explore the perceptions and experiences of health professionals in smaller health facilities and community-based workers during the pandemic, particularly in resource-limited settings.

Original publication




Journal article


PLoS One

Publication Date