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J Clin Nurs ; 2022 Jun 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1922991


AIM AND OBJECTIVE: To explore what is known about knowledge, attitudes and beliefs that influence hand hygiene practices in in low- and middle-income Caribbean and Latin American countries. BACKGROUND: With the emergence of infectious diseases such as the recent COVID-19 pandemic, handwashing is key to preventing communicable diseases as they disproportionately affect populations in low-income countries. While hand hygiene is known to be the single most effective method for avoiding the transmission of infection, little is known about the beliefs and practices of individuals in these regions. METHODS: Following PRISMA 2020 Checklist, an integrative review of studies published from 2008-2020 was conducted (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses). Whittemore and Knafl's method was used to review the literature. Six databases were searched, and the Johns Hopkins Evidence Based Rating Scale was used for study appraisal. RESULTS: The review yielded 18 studies conducted across Latin America. Poor handwashing practices are influenced by various factors including inadequate education and training, cultural beliefs, lack of resources and substandard government regulations. Communicable diseases and other diarrheal illnesses were highly prevalent, especially after a major disease outbreak. CONCLUSION: Future post-disaster campaigns aimed at improving hand hygiene and handwashing practices should focus on beliefs and attitudes to affect behaviour change since there was a higher disease susceptibility during those times. Barriers to proper hand hygiene include false attitudes such as, washing hands only after touching bodily fluids/patient contact or not washing hands at all after open defecation. RELEVANCE TO CLINICAL PRACTICE: Researchers working with populations in Latin America and the Caribbean should partner with local community health workers to improve compliance to recommended hand hygiene practices.

J Adv Nurs ; 77(9): e24-e26, 2021 Sep.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1186167