Health care workers' perceptions predicts uptake of personal protective equipment

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Health care workers' (HCW) compliance with infection control measures is influenced by organizational, environmental and individual factors. However, it is unknown whether HCWs' perceptions of transmission risk and protectiveness of infection control measures influences the uptake of infection control measures.


A questionnaire of perceptions and intentions to use infection control measures was completed by 74 HCWs at 2 hospitals. HCWs also indicated a 1-m transmission risk zone and their perceived transmission risk zone. Responses were used in logistic regression models to predict intended behaviors.


Poor recognition of the importance of employing a 1-m transmission risk zone predicted intention not to don a mask in single rooms where patient contact was unexpected (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 0.5; P = .032). When contact was expected, perceived protectiveness of pre-exposure prophylaxis (AOR, 7.9; P < .001), vaccination (AOR, 3.6; P = .023), and a minimum 1-m risk zone (AOR, 9.8; P = .022) predicted mask use. HCWs perceived transmission risk zones within 2.45 m from attending an adult and 1.12 m from attending pediatric patients.


Intention to use a facemask was poor for care in single rooms but improved if patient contact was expected and in multibed rooms. HCWs attending pediatric patients measured a smaller transmission risk zone than what is currently recommended under droplet precautions.

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