15 Self-Reported Factors for Poor Adherence With Hand Hygiene

In the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Guideline for Hand Hygiene in Health-Care Settings, the CDC identifies 15 self-reported factors for poor adherence with hand hygiene.


While this guide was published in 2002, the factors remain relevant almost a decade later and provide insight into misconceptions and challenges organizations should work to overcome to improve hand hygiene compliance.


1. Handwashing agents cause irritation and dryness.


2. Sinks are inconveniently located/shortage of sinks.


3. Lack of soap and paper towels.


4. Often too busy/insufficient time.

5. Understaffing/overcrowding.


6. Patient needs take priority.


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7. Hand hygiene interferes with healthcare worker relationships with patients.


8. Low risk of acquiring infection from patients.


9. Wearing of gloves/beliefs that glove use obviates the need for hand hygiene.


10. Lack of knowledge of guidelines/protocols.


11. Not thinking about it/forgetfulness.


12. No role model from colleagues or superiors.


13. Skepticism regarding the value of hand hygiene.


14. Disagreement with the recommendations.


15. Lack of scientific information of definitive impact of improved hand hygiene on healthcare-associated infection rates.


Source: CDC


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