Korean J Nosocomial Infect Control.  2011 Jun;16(1):29-36.

Underreporting Rate and Related Factors after Needlestick Injuries among Healthcare Workers in Small- or Medium-Sized Hospitals

  • 1Department of Nursing, Youngdong University, Yeongdong, Korea.
  • 2Department of Clinical Nursing, University of Ulsan, Ulsan, Korea. jsjeong@amc.seoul.kr
  • 3Department of Nursing, Semyung University, Jecheon, Korea.
  • 4Department of Nursing, Gachon University of Medicine and Science, Incheon, Korea.
  • 5College of Nursing, Pusan National University, Busan, Korea.
  • 6Infection Control Office, Severance Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 7Infection Control Office, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
  • 8Infection Control Office, Ewha Womans University Mookdong Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 9Infection Control Office, Ajou University Hospital, Suwon, Korea.
  • 10Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute, Incheon, Korea.
  • 11College of Nursing, Sungshin Women's University, Seoul, Korea.


This study aimed to examine the underreporting rate and related factors after needlestick injuries among healthcare workers (HCWs) in small- or medium-sized hospitals.
Convenience sampling was conducted for 1,100 HCWs in 12 small- or medium-sized hospitals with less than 500 beds. From October 1 to November 30, 2010, data were collected using self-report questionnaire that was developed by researcher. The response rate for the study was 98.3% (982 HCWs). Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) Win 12.0.
The reports showed that 239 HCWs (24.3%) sustained needlestick injuries within the last year. The under-reporting rate after a needlestick injury was 67.4% (161/239), and underreporting rates varied across the hospitals and ranged from 46.2% to 85.7%. The major reasons for underreporting after needlestick injuries were the assumption that no blood-borne pathogens existed in the source patient (62.8%), annoyance (17.9%), and no knowledge about the reporting procedure (6.0%). Multiple logistic regression analysis showed that the suggestion by colleagues to report the injury, the number of needlestick injuries, and the needle type were independently related to the underreporting of needlestick injuries.
The underreporting rate of needlestick injuries in small- or medium-sized hospitals was similar to that in large-sized hospitals, and this finding confirmed that the suggestion by colleagues to report the injury was the most significant factor influencing the injury-report rate. Thus, creating an environment that encourages HCWs to report injuries is considered the most important method to decrease the underreporting rate of needlestick injuries in small- and medium-sized hospitals.


Needlestick injuries; Occupational exposure; Hospital incident reporting
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