Psychosocial Factors at Work and Blood-Borne Exposure among Nurses

R Mehrdad, EH Atkins, SA Sharifian, G Pouryaghoub


Background: Exposure to human blood and body fluids is a common risk for nurses. Many factors can affect the prevalence and incidence of this occupational hazard. Psychosocial factors at work may be a risk factor for the exposure.

Objective: To assess needle stick, sharp injury and mucus exposure to blood-borne pathogens among nurses in Iran and to determine the association between these exposures and psychosocial factors at work.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on nurses in a public hospital, Tehran, Iran. 364 nurses received and 339 completed and returned a self-reported questionnaire containing demographic data, history of exposure to blood-borne pathogens at work during previous year and the General Nordic questionnaire for psychological and social factors at work (QPS Nordic 34+ Questionnaire).

Results: Of 339 participants, 197 (58.1%) reported needle-stick injury, 186 (54.6%) reported another type of sharp injury, and 112 (33%) reported a mucous membrane exposure during the previous year. More than half of the participants who had history of exposure, had not reported it. Those with middle or high level of stress had higher crude and adjusted odds than those with lower stress for all kinds of exposure. Adjusted odds ratios for high stress group (ranging from 2.8 to 4.4) were statistically different from 1.

Conclusion: There is a high prevalence of needle-stick and sharp injury and mucous membrane exposure to patients' blood or body fluids among studied nurses. There is a significant association between increasing psychosocial factors at work and exposure to blood-borne pathogens among this group of nurses.


Occupational exposure; Blood-borne pathogens; Psychosocial factors; Nurses; Iran

 pISSN: 2008-6520
 eISSN: 2008-6814

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