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This study examines perceived risk of contamination by methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) among healthcare personnel in a French university hospital. MRSA poses a public health threat for healthcare staff who work in a hospital environment. This study is part of a pluridisciplinary research project on the risk factors of MRSA contamination. In many studies (Kouabenan, 1998; Slovic, 1987; Slovic et al., 1981), risk perception appears to be an important factor in understanding attitudes towards accident prevention and selfprotective behavior. A questionnaire measuring several dimensions of perceived MRSA risk (risk for oneself, risk for others, severity, controllability, frequency, preventive efforts) and a questionnaire assessing optimism were administered to 187 hospital staff members of various occupations. The results revealed that the risk of MRSA contamination was well perceived as a whole by healthcare personnel. However, certain factors like proximity to patients and length of service tended to be accompanied by an underestimation of the risk, while other factors like little education, working part-time, and a lack of experience tended to cause overestimation. Preventive measures are recommended.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2007

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