|LETTER TO THE EDITOR
|Year : 2010 | Volume
| Issue : 2 | Page : 104-105
Study of attitude regarding health care waste management among health care providers of a tertiary care hospital in Kolkata
Dipankar Chattopadhyay1, Sukamal Bisoi1, Biswajit Biswas2, Sita Chattopadhyay1
1 Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Institute of Post-Graduate Medical Education and Research, Kolkata, India
2 Professor and Head, Department of Community Medicine, Institute of Post-Graduate Medical Education and Research, Kolkata, India
|Date of Web Publication||27-Nov-2010|
Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Institute of Post-Graduate Medical Education and Research, Kolkata
|How to cite this article:|
Chattopadhyay D, Bisoi S, Biswas B, Chattopadhyay S. Study of attitude regarding health care waste management among health care providers of a tertiary care hospital in Kolkata. Indian J Public Health 2010;54:104-5
|How to cite this URL:|
Chattopadhyay D, Bisoi S, Biswas B, Chattopadhyay S. Study of attitude regarding health care waste management among health care providers of a tertiary care hospital in Kolkata. Indian J Public Health [serial online] 2010 [cited 2014 Apr 16];54:104-5. Available from: http://www.ijph.in/text.asp?2010/54/2/104/73279
It is ironic that the health care facilities, which restore the health of the diseased, pose a huge health risk and environmental degradation due to improper hospital waste management.  Safe and sustainable health care waste management is not possible without a favorable attitude among health care providers. Thus, the present cross-sectional observational study through interview was undertaken in August, 2009, to assess the attitude of doctors and nurses working in the in-patient departments, operation theaters and emergency ward of the Institute of Post-Graduate Medical Education and Research, Kolkata.
A pre-tested structured five-point Likert Scale questionnaire was used as the study tool. The scores were from +5 for the most positive response to +1 for the least positive. There were six questions related to the measurement of attitude. The score on the scale is the ratings for each item and finally the sum of the scores of all the items ("summated" scale). The items that are reversed in meaning from the overall direction of the scale are reversal items. The response value is reversed for each of these items.  The minimum and maximum possible summated attitude scores were +6 and +30.
In a pilot study for determining the sample size and validity of the tool, the mean summated attitude score and its standard deviation were found to be 20 and 3.16, respectively. Accordingly, the sample size (N) at the required (5%) degree of precision was calculated to be 40. Validity of the tool was established by four experts as supposedly opposite items were shown to be responded to in opposite ways; the scale seems to measure what it was thought to measure.
A multistage sampling design was adopted. All in-patients, operation theater and emergency units of the Institute were enumerated and 10 such units were selected by simple random sampling. Two doctors and two nurses were selected by stratified random sampling from each of the 10 selected units. Thus, a total of 20 doctors and 20 nurses were selected. Mean scores to six Likert questions were summed up for doctors and nurses to calculate the summated attitude scores.
As the responses to six Likert questions were summed, they were treated as interval data measuring a latent variable and parametric statistical tests such as the analysis of variance (ANOVA) could be applied.  However, in this short study where two population means were being compared, the independent two-sample t-test was applied as it is equivalent to ANOVA. 
The summated attitude scores of doctors and nurses were 25 and 21.5, respectively [Table 1]. The difference was not statistically significant (P > 0.05). The difference between the overall (mean) summated attitude score (23.25) of all 40 participants and the maximum possible summated attitude score (30.00) was also not statistically significant (P > 0.05). This signifies that the attitude of doctors and nurses of the Institute with respect to health care waste management is good. A KAP survey in government health care facilities in an urban area of Karachi showed that the attitude of the sanitary workers toward the proper disposal of waste was poor, and the majority were not interested in protecting their own health.  In the Pondicherry study, safe management of health care waste has come to be recognized as being more of a problem of attitude rather than just providing technology or facilities. 
|Table 1 :Attitude of doctors and nurses regarding health care waste management (n = 40)|
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As the attitude of the health care providers in the present study is good, the means to improve hospital waste management of the Institute of Post-Graduate Medical Education and Research, Kolkata may be further explored with additional inputs of knowledge, logistics, technology and manpower.
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