Assessment of knowledge and practice toward infection control and prevention standards among intern doctors in Saudi Arabia

Ahmad M. Albarrag, Abdulmajeed A. Aloraini, Abdulaziz I. Alhussain, Faris I. Alwarhi, Abdullah I. Altashlan, Naif M. Alhadi


Background: Patients and healthcare workers are susceptible to health care associated infections if they are not compliant with infection prevention and control standards. There are no previous studies regarding the assessment of knowledge and practice of intern doctors toward infection prevention and control precautions in Saudi Arabia.

Methods: A cross-sectional study that was carried-out on 259 intern doctors at the main hospitals of Riyadh city in Saudi Arabia. A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to the participants after validation during their clinical rounds and their morning meetings of their departments. Data were analysed using SPSS version 21.0.  

Results: Out of 259 participants, the overall mean score for knowledge assessment was 79.4±7.52. For hand hygiene mean score was 23.53±2.66 out of 30, personal protective equipment mean score was 20.63±2.49 out of 25. A significant low level of knowledge regarding needle stick injury with a score of 19.18±2.50 out of 30. Regarding, knowledge towards isolation precautions, around 50% reported adequate knowledge regarding isolation precautions. Meanwhile, 78 (30.1%) denied receiving any form of training or orientation in infection control.  

Conclusions: There is a moderate level of knowledge and satisfactory level of practice among intern doctors in Riyadh. However, there was some misconceptions regarding needle stick injury and isolation precaution. Implementing infection control education and training programs is recommended before starting clinical practice.


Infection control, Hygiene, Personal protective equipment, Needle-stick injury, Healthcare associated infections

Full Text:



Bello AI, Asiedu EN, Adegoke BO, Quartey JN, Appiah-Kubi KO, Owusu-Ansah B. Nosocomial infections: knowledge and source of information among clinical health care students in Ghana. Int J Gen Med. 2011;4:571-4.

Pittet D, Allegranzi B, Boyce J. The World Health Organization Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care and Their Consensus Recommendations. Infect Cont Hospit Epidemiol. 2009;30(7):611-22.

Revelas A. Healthcare - associated infections: A public health problem. Niger Med J. 2012;53(2):59-64.

Allegranzi B, Bagheri Nejad S, Combescure C, Graafmans W, Attar H, Donaldson L, et al. Burden of endemic health-care-associated infection in developing countries: systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet. 2011;377(9761):228-41.

Muto CA. Why Are Antibiotic-Resistant Nosocomial Infections Spiraling Out of Control? Infect Cont Hosp Epidemiol. 2005;26(1):10-2.

Khan HA, Baig FK, Mehboob R. Nosocomial infections: Epidemiology, prevention, control and surveillance. As Pac J Trop Biomed. 2017;7(5):478-82.

Adefolalu A. Needle stick injuries and health workers: a preventable menace. Ann Med Health Sci Res. 2014;4(Suppl 2):S159-60.

Wise R, Hart T, Cars O, Streulens M, Helmuth R, Huovinen P, et al. Antimicrobial resistance. Bio Med J. 1998;317(7159):609.

Ng YY, Abdel-Latif ME-A, Gan CS, Siham A, Zainol H, Lum LCS. Impact of infection control training for interns on PICU-acquired bloodstream infections in a middle-income country. Singapore Med J. 2015;56(9):506-12.

Hamadah R, Kharraz R, Alshanqity A, AlFawaz D, Eshaq AM, Abu-Zaid A. Hand Hygiene: Knowledge and Attitudes of Fourth-Year Clerkship Medical Students at Alfaisal University, College of Medicine, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Cureus. 2015;7(8):e310.

Ayub A, Goyal A, Kotwal A, Kulkarni A, Kotwal A, Mahen A. Infection control practices in health care: Teaching and learning requirements of medical undergraduates. Med J Armed Forces Ind. 2013;69(2):107-12.

Tenna A, Stenehjem EA, Margoles L, Kacha E, Blumberg HM, Kempker RR. Infection control knowledge, attitudes, and practices among healthcare workers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol. 2013;34(12):1289-96.

Parmeggiani C, Abbate R, Marinelli P, Angelillo IF. Healthcare workers and health care-associated infections: knowledge, attitudes, and behavior in emergency departments in Italy. Bio Med Cent Infect Dis. 2010;10:35.