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Skin Penetration Operators' Knowledge and Attitudes Towards Infection Control

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Objective: To assess the knowledge and attitudes of owners/managers of commercial skin-penetration premises regarding infection control. Methods: A telephone survey was conducted with a randomly selected sample of 874 owners/managers. Results: Participants appeared to lack knowledge of essential infection-control practices. Less than 39% correctly identified recommended disinfection procedures, and between 12% to 67% were not aware of inappropriate sterilization procedures. Almost all participants accepted the need for guidelines. Half acknowledged a need to improve their infection-control compliance, and most accepted having their premises regularly checked by the councils. Conclusion: There is a considerable opportunity to increase infection-control compliance among skin-penetration operators.

Keywords: HIV; beauty therapist; blood-borne disease; body piercer; hairdresser; hepatitis B; hepatitis C; skin penetration; tattooist

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Behavioural Sciences in Relation to Medicine, School of Medical Practice and Population Health, Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle, Australia. 2: Health Service Planning and Performance, Hunter Area Health Service, Australia. 3: School of Behavioural Science, Faculty of Science, University of Newcastle, Australia.

Publication date: March 1, 2003

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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