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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 53-58

Stethoscope hygiene and barriers among physicians – A cross-sectional study from National Guard Health Affairs in Dammam, Saudi Arabia


1 Department of Family Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin-Faisal National Guard Health Affairs, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Clinical Pharmacy, College of Pharmacy, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 Al-Faisal University, College of Medicine, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Wajid Syed
Department of Clinical Pharmacy, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jpsic.jpsic_19_19

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Objectives: This study aims to evaluate the stethoscope hygiene Disinfection practice and barriers among National Guard Health Affairs physicians in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. Methods: A paper-based cross sectional prospective study was conducted among physicians practicing at the Imam Abdurrahman Al-Faisal Hospital over a period of 3 months from October to December 2018. We assessed the frequency and method of disinfection, perception of contamination, and barriers to disinfection. Results: Ninety-three respondents completed the survey. The results of the study found that Isopropyl alcohol 70% or an alcohol swab was the most common disinfecting agent, reported by 77 (82.8%) of respondents. The majority of the respondents 33 (35.5%) were spend 5-10 seconds to disinfect the stethoscope, 24 (25.8%) were <5 seconds, 12 (12.9%) were never disinfect stethoscope. Half of the respondents 51 (54%) were disinfect stethoscope after every use, 10 (10.8%) were disinfect multiples times per week, while 6 (6.5%) were disinfect stethoscope. The most common reported barriers to cleaning stethoscopes were forgetfulness/laziness 42 (45.2%), lack of time 30 (32.3%), or lack of knowledge regarding the best disinfectant 21 (22.6%). Conclusion: This study found that the vast majority of respondents reported cleaning of stethoscope using a suitable method of their choice. Increasing physicians' access to appropriate disinfectants and providing visual reminders in health care facilities may improve stethoscope disinfection practices.


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