D'Alessandro, Daniela and Agodi, Antonella and Auxilia, Francesco and Brusaferro, Silvio and Calligaris, Laura and Ferrante, Margherita and Montagna, Maria Teresa and Mura, Ida Iolanda and Napoli, Christian and Pasquarella, Cesira Isabella Maria and Righi, Elena and Rossini, Angelo and Semeraro, Valentina and Tardivo, Stefano (2014) Prevention of healthcare associated infections: medical and nursing students' knowledge in Italy. Nurse Education Today, Vol. 34 (2), p. 191-195. ISSN 0260-6917. eISSN 1532-2793. Article.
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Background: The training of health workers is a key issue for the prevention of healthcare associated infections.
Objectives: To evaluate knowledge of nursing and medical students concerning the prevention of healthcare associated infections.
Design: A cross-sectional study.
Setting: University hospitals in nine Italian cities.
Participants: One thousand four hundred sixty one healthcare students (607 medical students and 854 nursing students).
Methods: The study was performed using a questionnaire investigating 3 areas, each having different possible points: standard precautions = 12; hand hygiene = 8; healthcare associated infections = 5, for an overall perfect score of 25. Scores that met a cutoff ≥ 17.5 were considered to be indicative of an acceptable level of knowledge. Factors associated with an acceptable level of knowledge were analyzed using a logistic regression model.
Results: Mean overall score (± SD) was 18.1 ± 3.2. Nursing students (18.6 ± 2.9) obtained a higher overall score than medical students (17.4 ± 3.5) (p < 0.001). Weighed scores (± SD) by area were: 10.3 (± 2.0) for standard precautions, 5.0 (± 1.3) for hand hygiene and 2.8 (± 1.1) for healthcare associated infections. Knowledge level concerning the three areas was different between medical and nursing students (p < 0.001). The probability of finding acceptable knowledge was smaller for medical students (OR: 0.54 p < 0.0001) and for students aged ≥ 24 years (OR: 0.39 p < 0.0001).
Conclusion: The overall score showed an acceptable level of knowledge for the whole sample; but, considering separately the two curricula, only nursing students reached the minimum acceptable score. It seems important to investigate what is working better in nursing than in medical education in order to implement and validate new teaching approaches.
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