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Staff perceptions and practice for hospital waste management with reference to recycling in the UK versus Libya, a comparative study

Elgitait, Y (2013) Staff perceptions and practice for hospital waste management with reference to recycling in the UK versus Libya, a comparative study. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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Abstract

Green hospitals with improved hospital waste recycling practices can be a key solution to the potential problems associated with hospital waste disposal and management. Recycling of household hospital waste could significantly impact on the overall waste disposal management systems and how hospital waste is segregated and eventually disposed. The involvement of hospital staff is of key importance in improving recycling performance, however, the perceptions of hospital workers towards recycling of hospital waste is still not clear and there is a lack of research in this area. The factors that determine the recycling behaviour are not adequately described in the medical literature, and differences between hospital workers perceptions of recycling in developing versus developed countries have not previously been extensively studied. This thesis was designed to examine the factors influencing the knowledge and attitudes of hospital workers towards toward recycling of hospital waste, using a novel questionnaire. A pilot study was first performed to test the efficiency of the questionnaire, conducted via sending the self-administered questionnaires to 12 experts. Their views were considered in the development of the final version of the questionnaires. These were distributed randomly in 2 pre-selected hospitals in the UK and 3 similar hospitals in Libya. A total of 453 questionnaires were returned. The response rates were generally low in both counties (less than 20%). Females and nurses responded significantly more frequently than men and physicians. In general there were relatively low levels of knowledge about waste management and recycling practice. In this study, none of the Libyan hospitals practiced any recycling and the hospital workers in Libya were significantly less enthusiastic towards recycling than their UK counterparts. Training in hospital waste management and education were found to be weak predictors of positive attitudes. Results showed that it is difficult to predict the recycling behaviours among hospital workers, however, waste management staff were more positive towards recycling than those without training in waste management. The study has shown similar results to previous studies, in that hospitals in developed countries generated much less waste compared to hospitals in developed countries. Unexpectedly, knowledge was weakly linked to attitudes in both UK and Libyan hospitals. This may be due to the fact that the attitudes of clinicians and hospital workers are not necessarily related to their knowledge but rather affected mostly by the hard working hours and busy atmosphere which makes recycling more challenging. The study opens doors for further studies to investigate factors influencing recycling attitudes, and encouraging hospitals in developing countries to commence recycling practice and provide whatever infrastructure is needed to make this possible. More education and training on hospital waste management should be encouraged in developing countries. Introducing new technologies in hospital waste management, particularly recycling of hospital house hold waste may change the future prospective of hospital waste disposal in developed and developing countries. More studies intervening with educating the hospital workers in waste management, particularly in recycling of hospital waste and it's relatively safety should be encouraged. Key words: Healthcare waste, hospital household recycling, knowledge, attitudes, hospitals, healthcare workers, waste management.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Divisions: Public Health Institute
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2017 10:30
Last Modified: 04 Apr 2017 10:30
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6193

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