OBJECTIVES: To assess the knowledge and preventive practices regarding hepatitis and liver disease among a sample of participants in the Mexican Health Worker Cohort Study. METHODS: The study population consisted of 892 participants from Cuernavaca, Mexico. Demographic characteristics, knowledge about hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and liver disease in general, as well as information about prevention practices were obtained from self-reported questionnaires. Participants were grouped into categories that were created using information about their professional background and patient contact status. Knowledge and prevention practices were compared within these categories. RESULTS: Inadequate levels of knowledge and preventive practices were found, even within the more highly educated group. Nearly 57 % of the participants had inadequate knowledge about liver disease in general, while 76 and 79 % had inadequate knowledge about Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C virus (HCV), respectively. For general liver disease, the mean knowledge score increased significantly with education, history of HCV screening, and low alcohol consumption. CONCLUSIONS: Health workers should be better educated about hepatitis and liver disease so they can reduce their own risk and share their knowledge of how to prevent liver disease with patients.
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