Knowledge, attitudes and practice of primary health care physicians towards hepatitis B virus in Al-Jouf province, Saudi Arabia.

Research paper by Ahmad H AH Al-Hazmi

Indexed on: 03 Jun '14Published on: 03 Jun '14Published in: BMC Research Notes


Primary health care (PHC) physicians will be in the forefront of managing hepatitis B (HBV) patients. In Saudi Arabia, very little is known about knowledge, attitudes, and practice of PHC physicians towards HBV. This study aimed to assess the same parameters.During April 2012, a cross-sectional survey of 180 practitioners aged 38.1 ± 10.3 years was carried out in the primary health care centers (PHCCs) in AlJouf Province of Saudi Arabia. The physicians were asked to fill a valid questionnaire containing their sociodemographic data, and well-modified questions regarding their knowledge base, attitudes, and practice towards HBV. Data was processed and analyzed using SPSS (version 17) program, the level of significance was set at P < 0.05.Response rate 88.3% yielded 159 questionnaires for analysis. Majority of the physicians surveyed 128 (80.6%) believed that PHC physicians are capable to achieve a major role in the management of HBV. 119 (74.8%) physicians surveyed were willing to manage HBV patients and 127 (79.9%) believed that vaccination is the most effective means to prevent HBV. There was a statistical significant correlation between physicians' qualifications and continuity of care for HBV patients (32.8% vs 23.4%; p = 0.006), while continuality of care was more frequent among physicians with higher degrees compared to graduate physicians. Only 69 (43.4%) physicians were able to interpret HBV seromarkers. The vast majority of the physicians 142 (89.3%) were willing to subscribe in regular training programs about HBV.Suitable attitudes with lack of knowledge are found, and practice of our physicians with regard to this significant health issue appeared inappropriate. More education focusing on HBV is recommended.