Using the theory of planned behaviour to explain hand hygiene among nurses in Hong Kong during COVID-19

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-125
Number of pages7
Journal / PublicationJournal of Hospital Infection
Online published3 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - May 2022


Background: The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance of human behaviour in controlling the spread of disease. Hand hygiene is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce the transmission of infections. Aim: The aim of the present study was to use the theory of planned behaviour to examine hand hygiene beliefs and behaviours among hospital nurses in Hong Kong during the outbreak of COVID-19. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted recruiting a sample of nurses working in public hospitals across Hong Kong to complete an online questionnaire examining attitudes, subjective norms, and perceived behavioural control towards hand hygiene behaviour; hand hygiene beliefs and hand hygiene knowledge were also examined. Results: A total of 122 nurses (73% female) participated in the study. Self-reported hand hygiene performance was 81.93% in the present sample and nearly two-thirds had engaged in post-registration infection control training. Findings revealed that subjective norms and perceived behavioural control were significantly and positively associated with hand hygiene behaviour through intentions. However, attitude had no effect on hand hygiene intention and behaviour in the present study. Conclusion: The theory of planned behaviour provides a useful and effective framework in explaining the hand hygiene behaviour of nurses working in Hong Kong public hospitals during the COVID-19 outbreak. Continued commitment to improve hand hygiene practices is essential in the continued battle against the transmission of infectious diseases.

Research Area(s)

  • Hand Hygiene, Nurses, Theory of Planned Behaviour, Hong Kong, COVID-19

Bibliographic Note

Full text of this publication does not contain sufficient affiliation information. Research Unit(s) information for this record is based on his previous affiliation.