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Pediatric long-term care, infection control, hand hygiene, public health



  1. Wilmont, Sibyl MSN, MPH, RN
  2. Hessels, Amanda J. PhD, MPH, RN, CIC, CPHQ
  3. Kelly, Ana M. PhD, RN
  4. Larson, Elaine L. PhD, RN, FAAN


Purpose: Residents of pediatric long-term care facilities (pLTCF) are particularly vulnerable to healthcare-associated infections. The aims of this qualitative study were to (a) explore perspectives on infection prevention among families visiting children in pLTCF and (b) identify facilitators of and barriers to optimal hand hygiene.


Design and Methods: Semistructured, in-depth interviews with 10 family members visiting two New York City metropolitan area facilities were analyzed to identify themes.


Findings: "Everyone follows the rules" and "infections are inevitable" were primary themes. Participants reported "common sense" as a facilitator and "distraction" as a major barrier to prevention practices.


Conclusion: Current education for visitors may be inadequate to improve infection prevention behaviors.


Clinical Relevance: Nurse-led education strategies for infection prevention should be tested and modified for families visiting pLTCF.