Date of Award

January 2013

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Yale University School of Nursing

First Advisor

Laura Andrews


This phenomenological study explores the lived experience of patients on contact precautions. While current literature reports mixed compliance rates among healthcare-workers, increased workload for staff, less time spent at the bedside, higher rates of adverse events, and higher rates of anxiety and depression for patients on contact precautions, few studies describe the patient's perception. Interviews were conducted identifying the following themes: patient understanding of contact precautions, cleanliness and dirtiness, family/visitor perceptions, patient priorities, delays in care and staff attitudes, and protecting not isolating. Contact precautions are not perceived as burdensome, isolating, or distressing by most patients. Families and patients showing signs of distress should be supported with information about transmission risks, infectious status, and the use of contact precautions routinely and frequently during a hospital stay. Staff compliance with contact precautions is regularly observed and analyzed by patients as reflective of hospital cleanliness.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access