Patient Participation in Infection Prevention and Control: A Systematic Review

Dr Stéphane Bouchoucha1,4, Professor Tracey Bucknall1,2,4, Professor Alison Hutchinson1,3,4, Dr Phil Russo1,2,4

1Deakin University, Burwood, VIC, Australia
2Alfred Health, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
3Monash Health, Melbourne, VIC, Australia
4Deakin University Centre for Quality and Patient Safety Research, Geelong, VIC, Australia


Introduction: Patient participation in healthcare can positively influence patient outcomes and improve patient safety. While partnering with consumers is a national priority area, patient participation in the broader area of infection prevention and control (IPC) has been neglected. The aim in this study was to systematically review research literature reporting on patient participation in IPC to determine the effectiveness of patient participation and factors influencing participation.

Methods: An integrative mixed methods review was conducted and literature was included if studies reported on inpatient participation in IPC, examined improvement in guidelines adherence and/or the impact on healthcare associated infection rate. Search terms pertaining to patient participation and IPC were used.

Results: Overall, 9677 publications were identified through 8 databases. After duplicates removal and screening, 54 studies were included, 42 of quantitative design, 11 of qualitative design and one mixed method design. Analysis suggests that research conducted to evaluate patient participation in IPC has been predominantly focused on engaging patient in healthcare workers hand hygiene. Studies investigating the broader IPC aspects were surprisingly underrepresented.

Conclusion: The literature reviewed in the final analysis suggests that inpatient involvement in IPC is mostly limited to evaluating strategies where patients can increase heath workers adherence to hand hygiene. It is essential to explore new directions for involving patients in IPC. Developing and testing new interventions is needed, not only to optimise patients’ outcomes but also to move the relationship between healthcare workers and patient beyond the patient being a hand hygiene monitor.


Dr Stéphane Bouchoucha has over 20 years’ experience as a clinician, academic and researcher with a focus on critical care, public health, and infection prevention and control. He is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Nursing and Midwifery, Deakin University. Stéphane is also part of Deakin University’s Centre for Quality and Patient Safety Research (QPS). His research focus is health behaviours and infection prevention and control, specifically the psychosocial factors influencing adherence to guidelines. Stéphane supervises masters and doctoral projects in a range of areas including critical care and infection prevention.

Recent Comments