Identifying research priorities for infection prevention and control. A mixed methods study with a convergent design

Maura Smiddy, Edel Burton, Liz Kingston, Toney Poovelikunnel, Mat Moyo, Ashley Flores

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Meaningful research creates evidence for Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) practice.

To establish Infection Prevention Society (IPS) members’ research priorities to support future research projects.

A mixed methods convergent parallel design incorporating a cross-sectional survey of IPS members (2022–2023), and focus group findings from the IPS Consultative Committee, (October 2022). Quantitative data were analysed using descriptive statistics. Qualitative data were transcribed verbatim, entered into NVivo 12, and analysed using a thematic analysis approach.

132 IPS members responded to the survey, including 120 (90.9%) nurses. The three most prevalent priorities were: Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (n = 84, 16.1%); IPC Training and Education (n = 77, 14.8%); and IPC Evidence-based Guidelines (n = 76, 14.6%). Analysis of the focus group transcripts identified six emergent themes ‘Patient Centred Care’, ‘Training and Education’, ‘IPC Role and Identity’, ‘IPC Leadership’, ‘IPC is Everyone’s Responsibility’, and ‘Research Activity’. Triangulation of findings demonstrated concordance between quantitative and qualitative findings with Quality Improvement and Patient Safety (QIPS) and Training and Education identified as priority research areas.

This study highlights the necessity of developing support systems and incorporating research priorities in QIPS, as well as Training and Education. The findings of this study align with the recommended core competencies and components for effective infection prevention and control programs, making them relevant to QIPS initiatives. The outcomes of the study will serve as a valuable resource to guide the IPS Research and Development Committee in delivering practical support to IPS members.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-65
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Infection Prevention
Issue number3
Early online date20 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 20 Feb 2024

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