Knowledge, attitudes and medical practice regarding hepatitis B prevention and management among healthcare workers in Northern Vietnam

Thi T Hang Pham, Thuy X Le, Dong T Nguyen, Chau M Luu, Bac D Truong, Phu D Tran, Mehlika Toy, Selen Bozkurt, Samuel So

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND AND AIM: Vietnam's burden of liver cancer is largely due to its high prevalence of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. This study aimed to examine healthcare workers' (HCWs) knowledge, attitude and practices regarding HBV prevention and management.

METHODS: A cross-sectional survey among health care workers working at primary and tertiary facilities in two Northern provinces in Vietnam in 2017. A standardized questionnaire was administered to randomly selected HCWs. Multivariate regression was used to identify predictors of the HBV knowledge score.

RESULTS: Among the 314 participants, 75.5% did not know HBV infection at birth carries the highest risk of developing chronic infection. The median knowledge score was 25 out of 42 (59.5%). About one third (30.2%) wrongly believed that HBV can be transmitted through eating or sharing food with chronic hepatitis B patients. About 38.8% did not feel confident that the hepatitis B vaccine is safe. Only 30.1% provided correct answers to all the questions on injection safety. Up to 48.2% reported they consistently recap needles with two hands after injection, a practice that would put them at greater risk of needle stick injury. About 24.2% reported having been pricked by a needle at work within the past 12 months. More than 40% were concerned about having casual contact or sharing food with a person with chronic hepatitis B infection (CHB). In multivariate analysis, physicians scored significantly higher compared to other healthcare professionals. Having received training regarding hepatitis B within the last two years was also significantly associated with a better HBV knowledge score.

CONCLUSIONS: Findings from the survey indicated an immediate need to implement an effective hepatitis B education and training program to build capacity among Vietnam's healthcare workers in hepatitis B prevention and control and to dispel hepatitis B stigma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e0223733
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


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