Knowledge Regarding Ventilator-associated Pneumonia and its Prevention Among Nurses Working at Intensive Care Units of Two Teaching Hospitals in Sri Lanka


  • Muralitharan P. Emergency Treatment Unit, Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital
  • Seneviratne S.M.K.S. Department of Nursing and Midwifery, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda



Introduction: Ventilator-associated Pneumonia (VAP) is the commonest hospital-acquired infection among mechanically ventilated patients in Intensive Care Units (ICUs). Previous studies on ICU nurses report poor practice on VAP and preventive measures. The study aimed to assess knowledge on VAP and its prevention among ICU nurses from two teaching hospitals in Sri Lanka. Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted among 127 nurses from adult ICUs. Data were collected using a pre-tested self-administered questionnaire and analysed using SPSS version 20. Knowledge levels were categorized as good (above 75%), average (50-75%) and poor (below 50%). Results: Overall results showed that 62.2% had average, 33.1% had good, and 4.7% had poor knowledge on VAP and its prevention. The mean knowledge score was 70.15±10.5. Most participants had good knowledge on the meaning of VAP (68.5%), upper respiratory tract functions (84.3%), causative microorganisms (56.7%) and mode of transmission (78.7%). The majority had an average knowledge on standard precautions (48.8%) for VAP and poor knowledge on signs of VAP (52%). Regarding prevention of VAP, most of them had good knowledge on natural preventive mechanisms (92.1%), using of suction catheters (96.9%) and reducing microbial colonization in the oropharynx (93.7%). In contrast, poor knowledge was evident on minimum endotracheal (ET) suction pressure (69.3%), minimum ET cuff pressure (64.6%), early weaning from ventilator (72.4%), and disinfection of ventilator parts (53.5%). Conclusions: Overall knowledge of ICU nurses on VAP and its preventive measures was average. Knowledge deficiencies were identified in preventive strategies in maintaining airways and disinfection.

Keywords: Nurses, Ventilator-associated pneumonia, Intensive care unit, Knowledge, Prevention