Healthcare workers’ adherence with infection prevention and control (IPC) guidelines for respiratory infectious diseases: barriers and facilitators (search up to 26 March 2021)

Added November 29, 2021

Citation: Houghton C, Meskell P, Delaney H, et al. Barriers and facilitators to healthcare workers’ adherence with infection prevention and control (IPC) guidelines for respiratory infectious diseases: a rapid qualitative evidence synthesis. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2020(4). CD013582.

Language: Abstract available in EN / ES / FA / FR / PT. Plain language summary available in DE / EN / ES / FA / FR / MS / PL / PT / RU / ZH. Audio podcast available in EN / HR / RU / ZH. Full text available in EN.

Free to view: Yes.

Funding sources: Nothing noted, other than general support for the Cochrane EPOC Group from the Norwegian Agency for Development Co-operation.

What is this? Physical interventions to prevent and control infections should interrupt or reduce the spread of infectious diseases. Information on the barriers and facilitators to healthcare worker’s adherence to the relevant guidelines can help in planning and implementing these strategies.

In this rapid Cochrane qualitative evidence synthesis, the authors searched for qualitative research on the experiences and perceptions of healthcare workers relevant to their adherence to infection prevention and control (IPC) guidelines for respiratory infectious diseases in healthcare settings. They did not restrict their searches by date or language of publication and did the search on 26 March 2020. They included 20 studies, which were from Australia (2 studies), Canada (2), China (1), Dominican Republic (1), Hong Kong (1), India (1), Russia (1), Singapore (2), South Africa (3), South Korea (2), Taiwan (2), Uganda (1) and USA (1). The audio podcasts are available here[].

What was found: Healthcare workers found it confusing when IPC guidelines were too long and ambiguous or if they differed from national and international guidance.

Healthcare workers’ responses to IPC guidelines were influenced by the level of support from their management team.

A lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), or PPE that was of poor quality, was a serious concern for healthcare workers.

Healthcare workers pointed to a need for training about the respiratory infection itself and about how to use PPE, and that this was important for all staff in a healthcare setting.

Healthcare workers highlighted the need for sufficient space to isolate patients, including isolation and waiting rooms, and shower facilities for staff.

If a healthcare worker believed in the value and effectiveness of IPC guidelines, this helped adherence.

Healthcare workers felt motivated to follow the guidance because of fear of infecting themselves and their families, or because they felt responsible for their patients.

Implications: The authors of the review provided a summary of things to consider for implementation, which is available here[]. They stated that future studies should consider the generalizability of their findings and include research that was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic, exploring the adherence of healthcare workers to IPC guidelines in a wider range of healthcare facilities.

Other considerations: The authors of the review discussed their findings in the context of occupation, place of residence and education.


This summary was prepared by Yasmeen Saeed edited by Firas Khalid and finalized by Mike Clarke.

الإنكار 免责声明 免責聲明 Disclaimer Clause de non-responsabilité Haftungsausschluss Disclaimer 免責事項 Aviso legal Exención de responsabilidad