The aim of this study was to identify the factors that explain the intention of physicians to wear gloves when contact with blood or body fluids was possible.
A survey was given to a representative sample of physicians (general practitioners, medical specialist, and surgeons of the Canadian province of Qu?bec). A total of 720 physicians completed the self-administered questionnaire. The respondents' intention to wear gloves, psychosocial variables (attitude, perceived social norm, perceived behavioral control, perceived risk of infection, and habit of wearing gloves), and sociodemographic variables were assessed.
A substantial proportion of physicians (80%) had strong intentions to wear gloves when contact with blood and body fluids was possible. Logistic regression indicated that the 3 most important factors explaining intention were perceived behavioral norm, attitudes, and perceived behavioral control. Perceived risk of infections, habit of wearing gloves, and being in a younger age category were additional factors related to intention.
Interventions should reinforce the perception that the use of gloves is the norm among medical professionals. These programs also should emphasize the advantages of wearing gloves, counteract the perceived disadvantages of wearing them, and enhance the ability of physicians to circumvent the difficulties of wearing gloves when required.