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A cross-sectional assessment of attitude and practice toward Hepatitis B among primary health care workers in Aljouf region of Saudi Arabia

Fahed Alrowaily, Ahmad Bedairi, Abaalwakl Aziz, Farooq Wani, Altaf Banday.

Background: Hepatitis B (HB) is a global public health problem infecting nearly 2 billion people around the globe. Healthcare workers (HCWs) remain at a high-risk of acquiring and transmitting the disease.

Objective: To assess the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of primary HCWs regarding HB.

Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional descriptive survey was conducted from March to May 2015 covered all health-care staff in primary health-care setting. The data were collected through a questionnaire developed by Habiba et al. Questionnaire consisted of four sections that covered the socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge, attitude, and behavior toward HB infection.

Result: Eighty-two percent and seventy-two percent of the study population, respectively, have the knowledge that hepatitis B can be acquired from the patient to HCW or from HCW to the patient. Ninety-one percent pointed that hepatitis B is a serious disease and higher proportion (93%) were aware about hepatitis B vaccine. Eighty-six percent agreed that their jobs put them at an increased risk while 75% agreed that their lifestyle increases the risk. Eighty-nine percent agreed that they need to be protected from hepatitis B with 86% considered receiving HB vaccine. Sixty-one percent of respondents have received HB vaccine and 89% think that they have received complete vaccination schedule.

Conclusion: We conclude that majority of the study participants have good knowledge about HB as a serious disease, its modes of transmission and considered that their work puts them at high risk. In spite of the good knowledge and attitude, less number of respondents have actually received HB vaccine, which tells of the huge gap between attitudes and actual practice of primary care workers regarding protection from HB.

Key words: Hepatitis B, primary health-care workers, attitude, knowledge

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