Nurses are at significant risk from occupationally acquired bloodborne virus infections following a needlestick and sharps injury. This study aimed to apply the theory of planned behaviour (TPB) to predict nurses' intention to comply with occupational post-exposure management. A cross-sectional survey was applied to select registered nurses who worked in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-designated hospitals. An anonymous, self-administered questionnaire based on the TPB was distributed to 1630 nurses and 1134 (69.5%) questionnaires were returned. From these, a total of 802 nurses (71%) reported blood and body fluid exposure incidents during 2003-2005 and this group was used for analysis. Only 44.6% of the 121 exposed nurses who were prescribed post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) by infectious disease doctors returned to the clinic for interim monitoring, and only 56.6% of exposed nurses confirmed their final serology status. Structural equation modelling was used to test the TPB indicating perceived behavioural control (the perception of the difficulty or ease of PEP management, β=0.58), subjective norm (the perception of social pressure to adhere to PEP, β=0.15), and attitudes (β=0.12) were significant direct effects on nurses' intention to comply with post-exposure management. The hypothesised model test indicated that the model fitted with the expected relationships and directions of theoretical constructs [χ2 (14, N=802)=23.14, P=0.057, GFI=0.987, RMSEA=0.039]. The TPB model constructs accounted for 54% of the variance in nurses' intention to comply with post-exposure management. The TPB is an appropriate model for predicting nurses' intention to comply with post-exposure management. Healthcare facilities should have policies to decrease the inconvenience of follow-up to encourage nurses to comply with post-exposure management.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Microbiology (medical)
- Infectious Diseases