Knowledge, attitudes and practices of medical students regarding needle stick injuries

Taimur Saleem
Umair Khalid
Sidra Ishaque
Afia Zafar


OBJECTIVE: To ascertain knowledge, attitude and practices of medical students regarding needle stick injuries.METHODS: A cross sectional survey was conducted among the consenting medical students of 3rd, 4th and 5th years at a teaching hospital of Karachi, Pakistan. Convenience sampling was used. Pre-tested questionnaires were administered to approximately 70% of each class. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 16.0. Associations were assessed using chi-square test and Fisher's exact test. A p-value of <0.05 was considered as significant.RESULTS: The response rate of the survey was 85.7%. Sixty one students (33.9%) were from 3rd and 4th year each while 58 students (32.2%) were from 5th year. More than 85% students from each class were aware of the possibility of acquisition of Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV from needle stick injuries. Only 16.4% 3rd year students, 29.5% 4th year students and 36.2% final year students knew the full details of needle stick injury prevention protocols. Curriculum was cited as an important source of information regarding needle stick injuries. Forty seven (26.1%) students had received a needle stick injury in the past; however, only 14 students (29.7%) had reported the incident either to their consultant or the Infection Control Office.CONCLUSION: Overall knowledge of medical students regarding various aspects of needle stick injuries improved with seniority in medical college. However, the domains of attitude and practices need to be improved as the frequency of needle stick injuries was also observed to increase with the increasing year of medical education.