Evidence-based guidelines for preventing ventilator-associated pneumonia: results of a knowledge test among 3329 European intensive care nurses
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KeywordsKnowledge Test Nurse Education European Survey Experienced Colleague Prevention Recommendation
Although evidence-based guidelines for preventing ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) are available, non-adherence by ICU clinicians seems common. This may, at least partly, be due to a lack of knowledge of the recommendations. Our study aimed to assess ICU nurses' knowledge of evidence-based VAP prevention recommendations.
A European survey by means of a validated and reliable multiple-choice questionnaire concerning nine evidence-based strategies for VAP prevention [1, 2]. Data gathered were gender, years of ICU experience (<1 years, 1–5 years, 6–10 years, >10 years), number of ICU beds (<8 beds, 8–15 beds, >15 beds), and whether they hold a specialized qualification in intensive care.
Between November 2006 and April 2007, 3,329 questionnaires were gathered from 22 European countries. The nurses' mean score was 4.06/9 (45.1%). No differences were found between males and females. Nurses with a longer ICU working experience scored significantly better than their less experienced colleagues (P < 0.001 for <1 year vs >1 year and for <5 years vs >5 years of experience; P = 0.001 for <10 years vs >10 years of experience). Respondents from larger ICUs obtained significantly lower scores than those from smaller units (P < 0.001 for <8 beds vs >8 beds and P = 0.048 for <15 beds vs >15 beds). Linear regression analysis demonstrated knowledge to be independently associated with years of ICU experience, and with the number of ICU beds (both P < 0.001).
European nurses' knowledge of VAP prevention guidelines is poor. We recommend including VAP prevention guidelines in the core nurse education curriculum and in continuing refresher nursing education programs.
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.