International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene

Home Hygiene & Health

The Leading Source of Scientific, Professional & Consumer Information
International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene

Home Hygiene & Health

The Leading Source of Scientific, Professional & Consumer Information

Patient perspectives on infection prevention and control in cancer care: a survey of knowledge and attitudes among persons with cancer and their next of kin

The aim of this study was to determine the knowledge of, and attitudes towards, infection Prevention and Control (IPC) among persons with cancer and their next of kin in Norway. The study was carried out in a hospital setting, but is equally applicable to ongoing protection of cancer patients once discharged into their own homes.

In 2021, 36,998 persons received a primary cancer diagnosis in Norway, out of a population of about 5.4 million. Cancer patients face elevated risk of infection and may therefore be particularly vulnerable to antimicrobial resistance (AMR), which is limiting the therapeutic options against infections. To control spread of resistant pathogens, stringent IPC is necessary. To strengthen IPC in cancer care, incorporating patient and next of kin perspectives at all stages is essential. Knowledge of which IPC measures patients themselves may favour can aid infection control specialists in decision-making when prioritizing between different measures.

The study showed that respondents were most knowledgeable about hand hygiene (99%, 546/551), but least knowledgeable about its role in preventing antibiotic resistance (41%, 225/551). Strong support was noted for IPC, especially within the patient responsibilities theme. However, there was a notable reluctance towards some selected intrusive IPC measures, such as reducing contact with close relations.

Danielsen AS, Nygaard NJ, Børseth AW, Nilsen JV, Øvreness H, Raastad R, Borg MA, Kacelnik O, Bjørnholt JV. Patient perspectives on infection prevention and control in cancer care: a survey of knowledge and attitudes among persons with cancer and their next of kin. Journal of Hospital Infection. 2024 Feb 2.