O.C. Uchendu1, A.P. Desmenu2 and E.T. Owoaje1

  1. Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University of Ibadan.
  2. Department of Health Promotion and Education, Faculty of Public Health, University of Ibadan.


Introduction: Standard precaution in the workplace reduces the risk of occupational hazards among workers exposed to body fluids of humans and animals. Training on standard precaution has been recommended as a strategy to improve knowledge, attitude and compliance to these guidelines. This study therefore determined the effect of training on knowledge and attitude to standard precaution among workers exposed to body fluids of humans and animals in the University of Ibadan, South-west, Nigeria.

Methods: This was an interventional study among workers exposed to body fluids of humans and animals. A total survey of all faculties where staff and student come in contact with human and animal body fluid was done. Selected staff were trained for two days on standard precaution. A self-administered questionnaire was used to obtain information on socio-demographic information, knowledge and perception of staff on standard precaution. The maximum obtainable knowledge and attitude scores were 27 and 6 points respectively. The mean knowledge and attitude score were determined at pretest and post-test. Frequency, proportion, mean and standard deviation were used for summary statistics and an independent t-test was performed to test for association. Statistical significance was set at 5%.

Results: A total of 136 and 123 responses were obtained at pre-test and posttest respectively. A little over half of the respondents were females (51.5%) and below 40 years (54.4%). The mean knowledge score among the workers increased from 22.59 ± 3.4 at pre-test to 22.83 ± 3.2 at post-test, but it was not statistically significant. However, the mean post-test attitude score (5.10 ± 1.4) was significantly different from the pre-test attitude score (4.49 ± 1.5).

Conclusion: Training improved the knowledge and attitude of workers exposed to body fluids of humans and animals working in the University of Ibadan on standard precaution. Periodic training on standard precaution is therefore recommended to sustain a proper attitude to standard precaution guidelines.

Keywords: Standard precaution, Infection control, Knowledge, Attitude, Body fluids


Dr. O.C. Uchendu
Department of Community Medicine,
Faculty of Clinical Sciences,
University of Ibadan.
Email: obioma234@yahoo.co.uk


Workers exposed to body fluids of humans and animals are at risk of infections transmitted through air, blood, faeco-oral routes or by direct contact through sharps injuries or body fluids at their workplace.1–6 The high burden of infections like HIV, HBV and HCV among health workers can be attributed to occupational hazards like needle-stick injuries.1,3

Standard precautions (SP) are a set of guidelines, measures or processes to protect health care workers and even patients from infections by reducing the risk of transmission.4 They are to be followed in the process of administering care to all patients irrespective of their infection status.1,5,7,8 Standard precaution practice also applies to all workers exposed to body fluids of animals.6

In developed countries, there have been improvements in the risk reduction of occupational hazards among health workers. However, despite the introduction of standard precaution in healthcare settings in developing countries, the onus still lies with the workers to take measures at reducing exposures to occupational risks.1,9 Knowledge and attitude of health care workers (HCWs) has been found to affect compliance to standard precaution.9–12 Poor knowledge of HCWs may be due to improper training, inability to comprehend concepts of standard precaution and lower educational status. Perceived insusceptibility and service delays in standard precautions are some of the attitudinal issues that affect compliance. Other reasons for non-compliance in developing countries include the unavailability of materials such as sterile gloves and nose masks due to poor funding of the health system and understaffing of health facilities.11,13 Compliance to standard precaution by HCWs can be enhanced through training to improve their knowledge, attitude and skills, use of standard operating procedures, availability of protective instruments, unscheduled visits to monitor practice.4,9,10,14 While several studies have been conducted in Nigeria to determine the knowledge, attitude and practice of health workers on standard precaution, few have been conducted to evaluate the effect of training on knowledge and attitude to standard precaution. This interventional study was conducted among HCWs to determine the effect of training on their knowledge and attitude towards standard precaution.