Understanding factors that impact on public and patient’s risk perceptions and responses toward Clostridium difficile and other health care-associated infections: a structured literature review

Burnett, E., Johnston, B., Kearney, N., Corlett, J. and MacGillivray, S. (2013) Understanding factors that impact on public and patient’s risk perceptions and responses toward Clostridium difficile and other health care-associated infections: a structured literature review. American Journal of Infection Control, 41(6), pp. 542-548. (doi:10.1016/j.ajic.2012.05.026)

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Abstract

Background: Clostridium difficile is the most common health care-associated infection and a major cause of death and increased morbidity. It is vital that patients and the public are provided with the right information and communication to assist them to understand their role in preventative measures. Successful implementation of communication and management strategies hinges on individuals’ risk perceptions. Methods: We performed a structured literature review to examine the evidence regarding public and patients’ risk perceptions and responses toward Clostridium difficile and other health care-associated infections. Fourteen studies were included. Results: Only 1 study was specific to Clostridium difficile, and 7 were related to other health care-associated infections. Many reported limited understanding of the technical issues of the infection, concerns of transmission to family and friends, inadequate information available, and distrust. The media were one of the main sources of information. Both emotional and physical responses highlighted the level of confusion, fear, anxiety, and anger. Conclusion: Empirical research of risk perceptions toward Clostridium difficile is limited. Without well-researched studies examining risk perceptions and responses, there is a danger of developing and implementing communication and management strategies that do not meet the needs of our patients or the public.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Johnston, Professor Bridget
Authors: Burnett, E., Johnston, B., Kearney, N., Corlett, J., and MacGillivray, S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Medicine, Dentistry & Nursing > Nursing and Health Care
Journal Name:American Journal of Infection Control
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0196-6553
Published Online:28 November 2012

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