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Compliance with universal precautions in correctional health care facilities.
Gershon RR; Karkashian CD; Vlahov D; Kummer L; Kasting C; Green-McKenzie J; Escamilla-Cejudo JA; Kendig N; Swetz A; Martin L
J Occup Environ Med 1999 Mar; 41(3):181-189
There were three main objectives of this cross-sectional study of Maryland State correctional health care workers. The first was to evaluate compliance with work practices designed to minimize exposure to blood and body fluids; the second, to identify correlates of compliance with universal precautions (UPs); and the third was to determine the relationship, if any, between compliance and exposures. Of 216 responding health care workers, 34% reported overall compliance across all 15 items on a compliance scale. Rates for specific items were particularly low for use of certain types of personal protective equipment, such as protective eyewear (53.5%), face mask (47.2%) and protective clothing (33.9%). Compliance rates were highest for glove use (93.2%) waste disposal (89.8%), and sharps disposal (80.8%). Compliance rates were generally not associated with demographic factors, except for age; younger workers were more likely to be compliant with safe work practices than were older workers (P < 0.05). Compliance was positively associated with several work-related variables, including perceived safety climate (i.e., management's commitment to infection control and the overall safety program) and job satisfaction, and was found to be inversely associated with security-related work constraints, job/task factors, adverse working conditions, workplace discrimination, and perceived work stress. Bloodborne exposures were not uncommon; 13.8% of all respondents had at least one bloodborne exposure within the previous 6 months, and compliance was inversely related to blood and body fluid exposures. This study identified several potentially modifiable correlates of compliance, including factors unique to the correctional setting. Infection-control interventional strategies specifically tailored to these health care workers may therefore be most effective in reducing the risk of bloodborne exposures.
Health-care-facilities; Occupational-exposure; Exposure-levels; Body-fluids; Personal-protective-equipment; Face-masks; Eye-protective-equipment; Demographic-characteristics; Age-factors; Job-stress; Bloodborne-pathogens; Correctional-facilities; Prison-workers; Health-care-personnel
Robyn R.M. Gershon, MHS, DrPH, Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, 615 North Wolfe Street, Room 8503, Baltimore, MD 21205
Issue of Publication
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
MD; GA; PA
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
Page last reviewed: September 22, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division