Assess the knowledge of dentists regarding Hepatitis B serological profile: a cross-sectional study
Keywords:Hepatitis B, serological markers, education, occupational blood exposures, dentists
Introduction: The primary aim of the study was to determine the knowledge of dental practitioners regarding HBV serological markers. Second objective was to determine prevalence of occupational exposures to HBV amongst dentists.
Methodology: A questionnaire was constructed pertaining to various aspects of HBV serology; validated by an expert panel; and piloted at 49 dentists. A Cronbach-alpha value of 0.7 was attained and thus extensive survey was conducted among dentists in routine practise treating hepatitis B patients at dental teaching hospitals in Peshawar, KP. The data was analysed using SPSS v.22.
Results: A response rate of 58% (a total of 290 respondents) was attained. All respondents were vaccinated against HBV. Over 50% reported not to follow Standard precautions for every patient. Overall, 20.3% experienced HBV exposure, eight were administered PEP. Fifty-four percent of FYs; 74.5% PGTs and 71.6% of faculty dentists correctly answered: HBsAg to be the ‘serological hallmark of HBV infection’; this was the most correctly answered question. Sixty-four percent dentists failed to identify the infectious carrier phase. Over 50% of dentists in each category failed to correctly answer 5/8 of the HBV serology.
Conclusions: Over 20% reported HBV occupational exposure but zero transmissions. Majority of dentists did not have correct information on HBV serological profile which may jeopardise cross-infection control. Further education on HBV serological markers and its clinical relevance to dentistry along with stringent adherence to Standard precautions is recommended.
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