HealthDay News — Fewer than 20% of nurses report compliance with all nine Standard Precautions (SP), although adherence is the most effective means of preventing bloodborne pathogen transmission, according to a study published in the American Journal of Infection Control.

Donna Powers, DNP, RN, from North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System in New York City, and colleagues conducted a descriptive correlation study to measure self-compliance with SP and perceived benefits and barriers to SP use. They also assessed knowledge of hepatitis C virus (HCV), and perceived susceptibility and severity of HCV. Two hundred thirty-one registered nurses working in the ambulatory setting were surveyed.

The researchers found that 17.4% of respondents reported compliance with all nine SP items. The respondents had a mean score of 81% for correct response to the HCV knowledge test. A significant correlation was seen between HCV susceptibility and compliance, and between barriers to use of SP and compliance.

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“Understanding reasons for noncompliance will help determine a strategy for improving behavior and programs that target the aspects that were less than satisfactory to improve overall compliance,” the authors write. “It is critical to examine factors that influence compliance to encourage those that will lead to total compliance and eliminate those that prevent it.”


  1. Powers D, Amellino D, Dolansky M, et al. Factors influencing nurse compliance with Standard Precautions. Amer J Infect Cont. 2016; 44(1):4–7.

This article originally appeared on Infectious Disease Advisor