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Adherence to precautions for preventing the transmission of microorganisms in primary health care: a qualitative study


Michely Aparecida Cardoso Maroldi

Adriana Maria da Silva Felix


Julia Yaeko Kawagoe

Maria Clara Padoveze



Professor of Health Services Management

Rosely Moralez Figueiredo



Health care associated infections (HAIs) are a source of concern worldwide. No health service in any country can be considered HAI risk-free. However, there is scarcity of data on the risks to which both patients and health workers are subject in non-hospital settings. The aim of this study was to identify issues that determine the adherence of professionals to precautions for preventing transmission of microorganisms in primary health care.

This was a qualitative study, using focus groups of primary health care staff, in two Brazilian municipalities. The data were analysed using content analysis.

Four focus groups were conducted with 20 professionals (11 community health workers, 5 nursing assistants and 4 nurses), and the analysed content was organized into four thematic categories. These categories are: low risk perception, weaknesses in knowledge, insufficient in-service training and infrastructure limitations.

Participants expressed their weaknesses in knowledge of standard and transmission based precautions, mainly for hand hygiene and tuberculosis. A lack of appropriate resources and standardization in sharps disposal management was also highlighted by the participants.

The study points out the need to provide in-service training for professionals on the transmission of microorganisms in primary health care to ensure adequate level of risk perception and knowledge. Further recommendations include investment to improve infrastructure to facilitate adherence to precautions and to minimize the risk of disease transmission for both patients and health care workers.


Maroldi, M. A. C., Felix, A. M. D. S., Dias, A. A. L., Kawagoe, J. Y., Padoveze, M. C., Ferreira, S. A., …Figueiredo, R. M. (2017). Adherence to precautions for preventing the transmission of microorganisms in primary health care: a qualitative study. BMC Nursing, 16(1), Article 49.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 1, 2017
Publication Date Sep 11, 2017
Deposit Date Oct 3, 2017
Publicly Available Date Oct 3, 2017
Journal BMC Nursing
Electronic ISSN 1472-6955
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 16
Issue 1
Article Number 49
Keywords Infection prevention and control; Primary care; Standard precautions; Adherence; Qualitative study; Nursing; Focus group; Transmission
Public URL
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