Yagh et al
Greener Journal of Medical Sciences Vol. 2 (4), pp. 084-091, August 2012
ISSN: 2276-7797 © 2011 Greener Journals
Knowledge, attitude and behavior of primary health care workers about hepatitis C, Kuwait.
Suhair A. Yaghi1, Ebtihal S. Al-Habib2, Alia A. Sadik3, Ghizayel R. Almutairi4, Gamal Makboul5 and Medhat K. El-Shazly6*
1MRCGP, West Salmiya Center, PHC, MOH, Kuwait
2MRCGP, Khalid Saleh Al-Ghunaim Medical Center, PHC, MOH, Kuwait
3MRCGP, Khalid Saleh Al-Ghunaim Medical Center, PHC, MOH, Kuwait
4MRCGP, South Fardosse Center, PHC, MOH, Kuwait
5MD, Department of Community medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Alexandria University, Egypt
& Department of Health Information and Medical records, Ministry of Health, Kuwait.
6MD, Department of Medical Statistics, Medical Research Institute, Alexandria University, Egypt.
&Department of Health Information and Medical records, Ministry of Health, Kuwait.
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Background: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection can lead to much morbidity and mortality, and health care workers (HCWs) are at high-risk for acquiring infection and transmission to their patients and close contacts.
Objective: The aim of this study is to reveal HCWs’ knowledge, attitudes and behavior towards HCV transmission and protection.
Methods: This study was a cross-sectional survey that was conducted in all primary health centers located in two randomly selected health regions in Kuwait. An anonymous self-administered questionnaire was distributed to all currently working health care workers in the selected centers.
Results: The overall percentage knowledge score was 44%. The study revealed that about three-quarters of the respondents (72.7%) were aware that HCV infection can be acquired from patient to HCW compared to 54.5% knew that infection can be transmitted from HCW to patients. Correct knowledge about blood and blood products as well as needles and sharps as modes of transmission were above 90%. However, 30.0% and 25.7% respectively claimed that avoiding drinking contaminated water and food not well cooked were ways of preventing HCV .
Participants’ knowledge was reflected on their attitude as 35.2% , 22.1% , 19.3%, 11.4% respectively believed that wearing of goggles, avoidance of diagnosed patients, use of multivitamin/blood tonic, and use of antibiotics after contact are measures taken to protect them against HCV infection. Although more than 90% of participants were aware that blood and needles and sharps are routes of infection and that avoiding these sharps is a protecting measure, only 80% of them believed in wearing gloves and proper disposal of sharps. Female physicians older than 30 years were better informed about HCV.
Conclusions: Knowledge, attitudes and practices about hepatitis C among primary HCWs were fair, with important gaps which need to be strengthened especially among those with unsound knowledge.
Key words: hepatitis C, knowledge, attitude, primary health care workers.