The influence of nurses' knowledge, attitudes, and health beliefs on their safe behavior with cytotoxic drugs in Israel

Sarah Ben-Ami, Judith Shaham, Stanley Rabin, Alex Melzer, Joseph Ribak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of the nurses' knowledge, attitudes, and health beliefs on their behavior and their actual usage of safety measures while handling cytotoxic drugs in their daily work surroundings. The Health Belief Model (HBM) and its extensive form, the Protection Motivation Theory (PMT), were used as the theoretical frameworks. Sixty-one nurses participated in the study, 31 hospital-based nurses daily exposed to cytotoxic drugs for the last 5 years, and 30 non-exposed community nurses. An occupational questionnaire was used to test the nurses' actual safe behavior and compliance with the recommended guidelines. A randomly selected group of exposed nurses were observed to validate their compliant behavior. A gap was found between the nurses' knowledge and their actual behavior concerning the potential risks of cytotoxic drugs and their use of protective measures (p < .005). Significant correlations were found among the components of the extensive HBM (perceived susceptibility, barriers, benefits and self-efficacy). The observational findings supported the above results. The study's findings support the need to promote primary prevention by providing a safe environment for the employee by means of education, training with regard to safety measures, clear policy, written guidelines and their enforcement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-200
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Nursing
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2001
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cytotoxic drugs
  • Health beliefs
  • Occupational exposure
  • Oncology nurses
  • Safe behavior
  • Safety measures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)

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