Cross-sectional study of frequency and factors associated with stethoscope cleaning among medical practitioners in Pakistan
Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal
Stethoscope diaphragms are frequently colonized by bacteria. This cross-sectional study described the frequency and factors associated with reporting ever cleaning stethoscopes among 408 medical students and doctors at a medical college and 2 teaching hospitals in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. A minority of the respondents (37.7%) reported having ever cleaned their stethoscope. Following normal clinical use, wiping with a dry cloth was the most frequently reported method of cleaning (53.2%). After
... (53.2%). After contamination of the diaphragm with blood or secretions, cleaning with an alcoholic swab was the most common method (64.3%). In univariate and multivariate analyses, history of receiving information on stethoscope cleaning, utilization of personal stethoscope at last use and affiliation with internal medicine department were factors strongly associated with ever cleaning of stethoscope. Future research for improving stethoscope cleaning practices should explore educational interventions aimed at health care professionals.