The theory of reasoned action, which is a behavioral theory, holds that before individuals perform certain actions, they weigh available options and choose one depending on the prevailing attitudes and subjective norms. Fundamentally, attitudes and subjective norms are parameters of reasoned action that determine behavioral intentions among individuals. In this view, to prevent infections in a healthcare environment, healthcare providers should have positive attitudes and under the influence of subjective norms. Attitudes and norms that nurses have in their workplace determine their compliance with a policy or nursing practices. Thus, to introduce nursing practices that aid in prevention of nosocomial infections, the health care system needs to transform attitudes among nurses and norms in their fraternity.
A theory of planned behavior is also a behavioral theory, which is an extension theory of reasoned action. The theory creates a link between belief and behavior as it holds that attitude, subjective norms, and perceived behavioral control are parameters that determine behavioral intentions and changes. Hence, in prevention of nosocomial infections in the healthcare environment, managers need to shape subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, and attitudes so that healthcare providers can easily adopt nursing practices.
Perceptions, norms, attitudes, and behavior are some factors that determine compliance with hand hygiene practices among nurses. Therefore, the theory of planned behavior is applicable in transforming attitudes, perceived behavior, and subjective norms with a view of enhancing compliance with nursing practices such as hand hygiene and asepsis techniques, which are effective in prevention of nosocomial infections.