The purpose of this study was to explore the self-reported hand hygiene practices and the predictors of hand hygiene among physicians in a midsize Canadian city.
A descriptive cross-sectional survey using self-report questionnaire administered to a complete list of 354 local physicians. Perception of proper compliance was defined in a participant if he/she indicated performance of hand hygiene before and after every patient contact at least 80% of the time.
One hundred fifty-four physicians completed the questionnaire, yielding a 44.9% response rate. Only 45.3% of our sample reported performing preprocedure and postprocedure hand hygiene at least 80% of the time. Stepwise logistic regression results suggested that the variables “presence of hand hygiene auditing” (odds ratio [OR], 3.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.47–6.91), “being too busy” (OR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.20–0.90), “forgetfulness” (OR, 0.27; 95%, CI, 0.13–0.56), and “the perception that hand hygiene products are damaging to the skin” (OR, 0.31;95% CI, 0.11–0.88) were the only independent predictors of physician hand hygiene compliance.
Hand hygiene compliance among physicians remains an issue. The findings emphasize the need of health-care institutions to prioritize hand hygiene by ensuring proper promotion and enforcement of current policies to all practicing HCPs.