SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.66 issue1 author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand



Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • On index processSimilars in Google


South African Journal of Communication Disorders

On-line version ISSN 2225-4765
Print version ISSN 0379-8046


KHAN, Nasim B. et al. Infection prevention and control measures in audiology practice within public healthcare facilities in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa. S. Afr. J. Commun. Disord. [online]. 2019, vol.66, n.1, pp.1-14. ISSN 2225-4765.

BACKGROUND: Audiologists have a clinical and ethical responsibility to create a working environment, designed to reduce the potential for cross-contamination or transmission of infections OBJECTIVES: To describe the infection prevention and control (IPC) measures utilised and the opinions of audiologists and speech therapists, and audiologists (A/STAs) towards IPC in public healthcare facilities in KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa. METHOD: A quantitative, descriptive survey was utilised and entailed completing an online questionnaire. The Cronbach's alpha (0.82) indicated good internal consistency of the tool. Forty-nine A/STAs from 29 public healthcare facilities responded. RESULTS: Most participants (82%) followed a generic Department of Health policy on IPC, while 67% alluded to a discipline-specific policy. Participants had received training in infection control but indicated that further instruction was required for audiology-specific infection control procedures. Only 57% indicated that they 'sometimes' wore gloves with every patient during direct clinical contact. An association between the healthcare facility level and the wearing of gloves was found to be statistically significant (p = 0.025). Participants at regional and tertiary levels contended that gloves should be worn during most procedures versus those at district levels of care. While 96% washed their hands after each patient, only 76% washed their hands before each patient. Twenty-nine per cent indicated that they only 'sometimes' wore masks when in contact with patients with communicable diseases. Approximately one-third disinfected touch surfaces and toys, based on the clinician's discretion. The majority (86%) of participants, however, always followed the correct protocol for medical waste disposal. Despite training and the availability of policies, some practitioners displayed poor IPC practices in terms of universal precautions, personal protective equipment, handwashing and sterilisation. CONCLUSION: Further education, training and awareness related to appropriate IPC measures are recommended for audiologists. It is envisaged that this will lead to more effective IPC measures in audiology practice thereby reducing the risk of infection transmission.

Keywords : infection prevention; infection control; handwashing; universal precautions; personal protective equipment; waste management.

        · text in English     · English ( pdf )


Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License