The following paper critiques the credibility of qualitative research findings regarding healthcare workers’ compliance to hand hygiene, based on an article written by Salmon and McLaws (2015). The aspects considered include the methodology applied and the level of evidence inferred. Moreover, the assessment incorporates analysis of the settings, the sample size, and data collection procedures used to review the journal. Generally, the paper’s findings are supported by well-researched evidence that is applicable in any healthcare setup.
Salmon, S. & McLaws, M. (2015). Qualitative findings from focus group discussions on hand hygiene compliance among health care workers in Vietnam. American Journal of Infection Control, 43(10), 1086−1091. Web.
The increased cases of healthcare-associated infection are caused by poor hand hygiene practices among medical practitioners. Healthcare professionals fail to comply with the safe hand hygiene policies because most hospitals are overcrowded. Hence, the staff perceives that hand washing wastes the time that could be spent serving many clients. Furthermore, healthcare professionals are only motivated to wash hands for the sake of their own and their family’s safety. Thus, there is poor hospital infrastructure because the overcrowded healthcare centers lack the necessary resources required for maintaining proper hand hygiene care.
Furthermore, medical workers have neglected the seriousness involved with infectious diseases caused by improper hand care. Additionally, Vietnam, which is the focus of the research, spends less on improving the healthcare infrastructure. Only 6% of the budget is allocated for health expenses, which means that most hospitals lack the necessary hand washing facilities (Salmon & McLaws, 2015). Overall, the incompliance to hand hygiene practices is associated with insufficient infrastructural funding, overcrowding, and limited knowledge on Healthcare-Associated Infections (HCAIs).
The Essence of Qualitative Methodology, Method, and Philosophical Rationale
Qualitative research was required since an informative report was necessary for an accurate analysis of the themes identified. The qualitative method used in the study is phenomenology type since it is aimed at developing concise inferences from the study. According to Gill (2020), phenomenology research is based on a concept analyzed to provide a clear insight into a lightly known topic. The objectives are achieved by carefully selecting participants who have the utmost experience in the subject being investigated, which is hand hygiene practice among healthcare workers. Therefore, only medical practitioners are eligible to participate in the experiment. Furthermore, this style of research is aimed at obtaining accurate results, which are analyzed from a series of information collected from interviews and interpreted into a meaningful report.
Sample and Settings
The researchers identified six busy hospitals based on their strategic locations. The selected hospitals had a bed capacity of more than 500 patients with infection control, and the hand hygiene department was mandated to monitor compliance with healthy and neat practices (Salmon & McLaws, 2015). Moreover, the ethical approvals for the research were received from the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology. Regarding the population’s sample size, the authors arrived at 12 focus groups as the ideal number control group where each focus setting had about 8 to 12 participants (Salmon & McLaws, 2015). The researchers were not interested in demographics such as their years of experience, age, and sex. The sample inclusion criteria involved qualified and recognized healthcare professionals, including doctors and nurses. Participants excluded from the research are unregistered medical staff such as accountants.
Data Collection and Rigor
The data collection techniques include forming study groups whose participants were interviewed based on three themes formulated, including the prioritization of hand hygiene, healthcare workers’ beliefs and how they compromised the guidelines developed by the healthcare institutions, and the influence of hand hygiene on the environment. The data was recorded using audiotapes that were automatically transcribed into texts using the software. Subsequently, the transcriptions were converted to English for better analysis. For the research’s credibility, the transcriptions were checked and verified by senior researchers to eradicate any traces of ambiguity in the data collected.
Protection of Human Subjects
Furthermore, human subjects’ protection was upheld, considering that research incorporated ethical measures. The study was approved by the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology as aforementioned above. Moreover, the human rights agencies advocate concealing the participants’ identities, according to the Office of Human Research Protection (White, 2020). In regards to trustworthiness, the research can be applied or transferred to other hospital settings.
Conclusion and Recommendation
To conclude, the significance of the research is vital for health care institutions. The authors, however, clarified that the research was limited to Vietnam health workers (focus population). The authors’ hypothesis is also proven by the summary of the information collected from the participants. The conclusions also reflect the report findings as the three themes are summarized logically. Further, the authors provided recommendations for the effective compliance of proper hygienic standards. They proposed a behavioral-theory as the solution for improving the hygiene of healthcare workers. Moreover, they commended the need to educate all the caregivers on the importance of maintaining proper hygiene. All doctors need to be taught the essence of washing hands before attending to patients’ needs. Regarding the levels of evidence, the research can be regarded as Level I since the findings are supported by an evidence-based systematic review.
Gill, M. J. (2020). Phenomenological approaches to research. In N. Mik-Meyer & M. Järvinen (Eds.), Qualitative analysis: Eight approaches (pp. 73−94). Sage.
Salmon, S., & McLaws, M. (2015). Qualitative findings from focus group discussions on hand hygiene compliance among health care workers in Vietnam. American Journal of Infection Control. 43(10), 1086−1091. Web.
White, M. G. (2020). Why human subjects research protection is important. The Ochsner Journal, 20(1), 16–33. Web.