Knowledge, attitudes and practices of healthcare workers within an Australian tertiary hospital to managing high-consequence infectious diseases
AuthorFryk, JJ; Tong, S; Marshall, C; Rajkhowa, A; Buising, K; MacIsaac, C; Walsham, N; Thevarajan, I
Source TitleInfection, Disease && Health
University of Melbourne Author/sTong, Steven; MacIsaac, Christopher; Buising, Kirsty; Rajkhowa, Arjun; Marshall, Caroline
Medicine and Radiology
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsFryk, J. J., Tong, S., Marshall, C., Rajkhowa, A., Buising, K., MacIsaac, C., Walsham, N. & Thevarajan, I. (2021). Knowledge, attitudes and practices of healthcare workers within an Australian tertiary hospital to managing high-consequence infectious diseases. INFECTION DISEASE & HEALTH, 26 (2), pp.95-103. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.idh.2020.10.002.
Access StatusAccess this item via the Open Access location
Open Access URLPublished version
Open Access at PMChttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7657000
BACKGROUND: Adequate preparation and support for healthcare workers (HCWs) managing high-consequence infectious diseases (HCIDs) is critical to the overall clinical management of HCIDs. Qualitative studies examining how well prepared and supported HCWs feel are lacking despite their key role. This study investigated how prepared and supported front-line HCWs at an Australian tertiary hospital felt about managing HCIDs such as viral haemorrhagic fever (VHF). METHODS: A qualitative research approach was used to undertake interviews with 45 Royal Melbourne Hospital medical and nursing staff from emergency, intensive care and infectious diseases. Interview questions captured data on HCWs' role, familiarity with using protocols, psychological attributes and training for scenarios related to VHF patient management. Interviews were recorded and transcribed. Categorical responses were analysed quantitatively and open-ended responses were analysed thematically. RESULTS: Ninety-eight percent of participants indicated feeling capable of undertaking their role in managing VHF patients; 77% felt supported through personnel/resources. However, 69% indicated barriers to managing these patients effectively; and 68% felt anxious at the prospect of managing VHF patients. Themes emerging from participants' observations included concerns about training frequency, miscommunication, difficulty with uncertainty, feeling underprepared, and fear of transmitting infection to others. CONCLUSION: Although the majority of HCWs feel confident about their ability to care for VHF patients, they also have a moderately-high degree of anxiety. Perceptions of interviewed staff have fed into recommendations to increase HCW preparedness and reduce anxiety, which include investigating support services, and exploring training options that create multi-departmental groups of highly specialised medical officers and nurses.
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