Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

An Investigation of Nurses' Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Regarding Disinfection Procedures in Italy

Alessandra Sessa, Gabriella Di Giuseppe, Luciana Albano, Italo F Angelillo* and the Collaborative Working Group

Author Affiliations

Department of Experimental Medicine, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2011, 11:148  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-11-148

Published: 25 May 2011



This study assessed the level of knowledge, attitudes, and practice regarding disinfection procedures among nurses in Italian hospitals.


A face-to-face interview gathered the following information: demographic and practice characteristics; knowledge about the healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and the disinfection practices; attitudes towards the utility of guidelines/protocols and perception of the risks of acquiring/transmitting HAIs; compliance with antisepsis/disinfection procedures; and sources of information.


Only 29% acknowledged that urinary and respiratory tract infections were the two most common HAIs and this knowledge was significantly higher in those with a higher level of education. Attitudes towards the utility of guidelines/protocols for disinfection procedures showed a mean score of 9.1. The results of the linear regression model indicated a more positive attitude in female nurses, in those with a lower number of years of activity, and in those needing additional information about disinfection procedures. Nurses with higher educational level and with a higher perception of risk of transmitting an infectious disease while working were more likely to perform appropriate antisepsis of the surgical wound and handwashing before and after medication.


Plan of successful prevention activities about HAIs and provide pointers to help optimize disinfection procedures and infection prophylaxis and management are needed.