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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 243-252

Awareness and knowledge of postoperative surgical site infections in patients from Saudi Arabia: A multi-regional cross-sectional study

1 College of Medicine, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, National Guards Health Affairs, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
3 College of Medicine, Taif University, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia
4 College of Medicine, Prince Sattam Bin Abdulaziz University
5 College of Medicine, Tabuk University, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia
6 Department of Surgery, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, King Fahd Hospital of the University, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Alaa Mohammed Alsahli
College of Medicine, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/sjmms.sjmms_421_21

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Background: Knowledge regarding surgical site infections (SSIs) can help reduce hospital stay, morbidity, and mortality associated with SSI. Objectives: This study aimed to determine the knowledge and awareness of SSI among patients undergoing surgeries across Saudi Arabia. Methods: This multi-center cross-sectional study included adult patients (aged >18 years) who underwent surgery at six centers located across the five regions of Saudi Arabia. A 36-item questionnaire was used to elicit data regarding demographics, patient's health status, procedures, and hospitalization history and awareness and knowledge about SSIs. Results: A total of 375 patients were included (equally for all five regions of Saudi Arabia). Most patients were male (55.7%) and aged 18–34 years (44%). Most respondents (49.1%) had poor awareness; being illiterate and from the Northern region were significant factors (P = 0.001). Patients with no history of surgery (P = 0.001) or SSI (P = 0.003) also had poor awareness levels. In terms of knowledge, 45.8% and 35.2% of the participants had fair and poor knowledge, respectively, with the level of knowledge being significantly associated with region (P = 0.001). Patients those aged >65 years had poor knowledge (P = 0.033), while of males had good knowledge (P = 0.02). Patients with no history of surgery had poor knowledge of SSIs (P = 0.003). Only 32.8% of the patients recalled having been educated by healthcare workers. About 42% learned of SSIs from sources outside the hospital, with internet/social media platforms accounting for 48.4% of such sources. Conclusion: A significant proportion of the patients included in this study had poor awareness and knowledge of SSIs. The study highlights the need for strengthening the preoperative patient education in Saudi Arabia to reduce the likeliness of SSIs.

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