Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Dental Students and Graduated Dentists Regarding Patients with Hepatitis B and C Infections in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, Pakistan
Objective: Hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV, HCV) may cause potentially lethal liver infections. It is estimated that approximately 5 million people are affected by HBV while 10 million have HCV in Pakistan. This study aimed to assess the knowledge, attitude and practices of dental students and dentists towards Hepatitis B and C infected patients in their day-to-day practice.
Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study design was used to distribute self-administered questionnaires to dental students, house officers, postgraduate residents and general dentists working in dental colleges across Rawalpindi and Islamabad (N = 357). The answers to the 18-item questionnaire were recorded in SPSS version 22. Chi-square test and independent t-test were applied. A value of p < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: The attitude, knowledge and practice between ‘students’ (third year and final year students) and ‘graduated dentists’ (house officers, postgraduate trainees and general dentists) were compared. It was found that both groups had a good attitude. The respondents did not perform optimally in the knowledge section however the responses between the two groups showed no significant statistical difference, they were mostly incorrect, nevertheless. The practice-based section also showed the inadequacy of the two groups.
Conclusion: The present study revealed that the participants had a good perception of attitude towards patients with hepatitis. However, the knowledge of our participants regarding the infection was suboptimal indicating the need to revise our undergraduate curriculum and approach to practice also needs to be improved demanding more emphasis on clinical teaching.
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