Analysis of patient knowledge and awareness about risk and management of surgical site infections


  • Fasalu Rahiman O. M. Department of Pharmacology, MES Medical College, Perinthalmanna, Kerala, India
  • Rajkumar K. Department of General Surgery, Amala Institute of Medical Sciences, Thrissur, Kerala, India



Surgical site infections, Knowledge, Infection, Patient education


Background: Surgical site infections (SSIs) are one of the leading causes of death, and its prevention is a key element health care sector. However, patient perceptions about barriers experienced while seeking care have not been assessed in depth. Hence, the study was carried to examine patients’ awareness and understanding of SSI risks and consequences.

Methods: The study was carried out by surveying by collecting patient demographics, history and treatment details by direct patient interview. The survey asked a series of questions regarding SSI specifically addressing patients’ knowledge of factors associated with increased risk and consequences of infection, and was developed after reviewing the patient education guides for SSI, which has been endorsed by the help of infection control department.

Results: A survey was carried out with 74 participants; most of them were familiar with SSI manifestations and consequences. Total of eight patients (11%) had a previous SSI before their current surgery or current SSI. The discussion of healthcare workers regarding the SSI should not reach in 42% of the patients, but 20% of the patients were taken part in discussions 2 or more times. Only forty-six percentages of the patients are comfortable with their existing knowledge regarding SSIs; 54% of the patients are willing to improve their knowledge about SSIs and its preventive strategies.

Conclusions: Hence, better strategies are needed to promote patient awareness of and engagement in reducing SSI risks and consequences and promoting the prevention of SSI.


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Original Research Articles