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Dirt and disgust as key drivers in nurses' infection control behaviours: an interpretative, qualitative study

Dirt and disgust as key drivers in nurses' infection control behaviours: an interpretative, qualitative study
Dirt and disgust as key drivers in nurses' infection control behaviours: an interpretative, qualitative study
Aim To provide explanations for nurses' infection prevention behaviours.

Methods An interpretative, qualitative approach was taken using semi-structured interviews. Twenty interviews with registered nurses working in an acute hospital setting were conducted. Analysis was conducted using the Framework method.

Findings This paper focuses on the theme ‘protection from dirt’. Within the findings clear distinction was made between infection and dirt. Fear of contact with dirt, particularly dirt belonging to those who were unknown, was a key driver in behaviour carried out to reduce threat. Familiarity with the patient resulted in a reduction of the protective behaviours required. These behaviours, which initially appeared as part of an infection prevention strategy, were primarily a form of self-protection from patients, who at first encounter were considered as dirty.

Conclusion Behaviours do not always fit with a rational response to infection, but instead may be responses to dirt. Any programme that simply attempts to address scientific knowledge and behaviour deficits is unlikely to have the desired goals if it does not take into account existing social constructions of dirt and the response it evokes.
behaviour, dirt, disgust, infection prevention
0195-6701
1-6
Jackson, Carol
e13758f4-0460-4260-8fc7-7c9e09ac4cca
Griffiths, Peter
ac7afec1-7d72-4b83-b016-3a43e245265b
Jackson, Carol
e13758f4-0460-4260-8fc7-7c9e09ac4cca
Griffiths, Peter
ac7afec1-7d72-4b83-b016-3a43e245265b

Jackson, Carol and Griffiths, Peter (2014) Dirt and disgust as key drivers in nurses' infection control behaviours: an interpretative, qualitative study. Journal of Hospital Infection, 1-6. (doi:10.1016/j.jhin.2014.04.001). (In Press)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Aim To provide explanations for nurses' infection prevention behaviours.

Methods An interpretative, qualitative approach was taken using semi-structured interviews. Twenty interviews with registered nurses working in an acute hospital setting were conducted. Analysis was conducted using the Framework method.

Findings This paper focuses on the theme ‘protection from dirt’. Within the findings clear distinction was made between infection and dirt. Fear of contact with dirt, particularly dirt belonging to those who were unknown, was a key driver in behaviour carried out to reduce threat. Familiarity with the patient resulted in a reduction of the protective behaviours required. These behaviours, which initially appeared as part of an infection prevention strategy, were primarily a form of self-protection from patients, who at first encounter were considered as dirty.

Conclusion Behaviours do not always fit with a rational response to infection, but instead may be responses to dirt. Any programme that simply attempts to address scientific knowledge and behaviour deficits is unlikely to have the desired goals if it does not take into account existing social constructions of dirt and the response it evokes.

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Accepted/In Press date: April 2014
Keywords: behaviour, dirt, disgust, infection prevention
Organisations: Faculty of Health Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 364818
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/364818
ISSN: 0195-6701
PURE UUID: 8b017f7c-d1a5-485e-9007-dc8fa149bc75
ORCID for Peter Griffiths: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2439-2857

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Date deposited: 13 May 2014 09:57
Last modified: 12 Nov 2019 01:41

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Author: Carol Jackson
Author: Peter Griffiths ORCID iD

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