Mar 5, 2009

Religion and Culture Influencing Hand Hygiene

I recently came across a very interesting article in the American Journal of Infection Control, which discussed how religion and culture could potentially influence the promotion of hand hygiene in healthcare. The World Health Organization's Global Patient Safety Challenge, "Clean Care is Safer Care," is dedicated to tackling the issue of health care-associated infection worldwide.

The authors of the article, titled Religion and Culture: Potential undercurrents influencing hand hygiene promotion in health care, wanted to investigate if religious faith and culture could impact hand hygiene behavior. Here is what they found:

Results: Religious faith and culture can strongly influence hand hygiene behavior in health care workers and potentially affect compliance with best practices. Interesting data were retrieved on specific indications for hand cleansing according to the 7 main
religions worldwide, interpretation of hand gestures, the concept of "visibly dirty" hands, and the sure of alcohol-based hand rubs and prohibition of alcohol use in some religions.

Conclusions: The impact of religious faith and cultural specificities must be taken into consideration when implementing a multimodal strategy to promote hand hygiene on a global scale.

While this study needs additional research, it provides an interesting perspective on hand hygiene compliance particularly considering the need to involve patients and families in hand hygiene awareness and practice. As with many patient safety and patient care initiatives, it is always important to consider an individual's religious and cultural beliefs when attempting to apply innovative concepts.

1 comment:

khamae said...

can i have a full text copy of the article? thanks:)