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Patient involvement in the implementation of infection prevention and control guidelines and associated interventions: a scoping review
  1. Heloise Fernandes Agreli1,
  2. Michael Murphy1,
  3. Sile Creedon1,
  4. Cliodhna Ni Bhuachalla2,
  5. Deirdre O’Brien2,
  6. Dinah Gould3,
  7. Eileen Savage4,
  8. Fiona Barry5,
  9. Jonathan Drennan1,
  10. Maura P Smiddy5,
  11. Sarah Condell6,
  12. Sinead Horgan7,
  13. Siobhan Murphy1,
  14. Teresa Wills1,
  15. Aileen Burton1,
  16. Josephine Hegarty4
  1. 1Department of Nursing and Midwifery, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
  2. 2Department of Clinical Microbiology, Mercy University Hospital, Cork, Ireland
  3. 3School of Healthcare Sciences, Cardiff University, Cardiff, South Glamorgan, UK
  4. 4Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Catherine McAuley School of Nursing and Midwifery, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
  5. 5Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
  6. 6Department of Health, National Patient Safety Office, Dublin, Ireland
  7. 7Health Service Executive, Cork, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Heloise Fernandes Agreli; heloiseagreli{at}


Objective To explore patient involvement in the implementation of infection prevention and control (IPC) guidelines and associated interventions.

Design Scoping review.

Methods A methodological framework was followed to identify recent publications on patient involvement in the implementation of IPC guidelines and interventions. Initially, relevant databases were searched to identify pertinent publications (published 2013–2018). Reflecting the scarcity of included studies from these databases, a bidirectional citation chasing approach was used as a second search step. The reference list and citations of all identified papers from databases were searched to generate a full list of relevant references. A grey literature search of Google Scholar was also conducted.

Results From an identified 2078 papers, 14 papers were included in this review. Our findings provide insights into the need for a fundamental change to IPC, from being solely the healthcare professionals (HCPs) responsibility to one that involves a collaborative relationship between HCPs and patients. This change should be underpinned by a clear understanding of patient roles, potential levels of patient involvement in IPC and strategies to overcome barriers to patient involvement focusing on the professional–patient relationship (eg, patient encouragement through multimodal educational strategies and efforts to disperse professional’s power).

Conclusions There is limited evidence regarding the best strategies to promote patient involvement in the implementation of IPC interventions and guidelines. The findings of this review endorse the need for targeted strategies to overcome the lack of role clarity of patients in IPC and the power imbalances between patients and HCPs.

  • health policy
  • clinical governance
  • quality in health care
  • risk management

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  • Contributors HA, MM, SC, AB, CNB, DO, DG, ES, FB, JD, MPS, SC, SH, SM, TW and JH made substantial contributions to conception and design or acquisition of data, or analysis and interpretation of data. HA, MM, SC, AB, ES, SC, SH and JH were involved in drafting the manuscript or revising it critically for important intellectual content. HA, MM, SC, AB, CNB, DO, DG, ES, FB, JD, MPS, SC, SH, SM, TW and JH have given final approval of the version to be published. HA, MM, SC, AB, CNB, DO, DG, ES, FB, JD, MPS, SC, SH, SM, TW and JH have agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

  • Funding Funding for this study was supported by the Department of Health and the Health Research Board. Applied Partnership Awards, APA-2017-002.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement Requests for further information can be made to the corresponding author on reasonable request.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.