Healthcare workers’ accidental exposure to potentially-contaminated biological material is recorded daily worldwide and causes harm to these professionals’ health. When the accidents occur, post-exposure prophylaxis with antiretroviral drugs is indicated, due to the risk of contamination with HIV. Compliance with the treatment is of fundamental importance for the efficacy of post-exposure prophylaxis and may be related to the capacity for self-care of the worker who had the accident.
Objective to ascertain the relationship between the worker’s capacity for self-care following exposure to potentially-contaminated biological material and her compliance with prophylaxis with antiretroviral drugs.
Methods a descriptive, quantitative study, undertaken in the Main Centre of Excellence in Specialities of Ribeirão Preto, Brazil. The study population was made up of those health professionals who had been the victims of work accidents involving biological material, who were indicated for prophylaxis with antiretroviral drugs in August 2015 – January 2016.
Results 55 work accidents involving exposure to potentially-contaminated biological material were recorded; 32 healthcare workers were advised to use prophylaxis with antiretroviral drugs. 22 (68.8%) healthcare workers complied with the treatment indicated, while 10 (31.2%) professionals did not comply. When the Mann-Whitney statistical test was undertaken to ascertain the relationship between the capacity for self-care and compliance with the treatment, it was observed that the 22 participants who complied with the treatment presented higher scores in self-care capacity (58% to 100%). On the other hand, the 10 participants who did not comply with the treatment had a self-care capacity with a median of 41.5%.
Conclusion The capacity for self-care influences compliance with prophylaxis with antiretroviral drugs following exposure to potentially-contaminated biological material. Future interventions must aim for increase in compliance with the treatment recommended, through educational interventions combined with the offering of better working conditions.
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