Preprint Article Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

A Cross-Sectional Study of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C Knowledge Among Dental Medicine Students at the University of Zagreb

Version 1 : Received: 17 April 2020 / Approved: 19 April 2020 / Online: 19 April 2020 (04:37:08 CEST)

How to cite: Homolak, J.; Tomljanovic, D.; Milosevic, M.; Vrazic, D.; Zivkovic, M.; Budimir, I.; Pezo Nikolic, B.; Muslim, A.; Ljubicic, N.; Nikolic, M. A Cross-Sectional Study of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C Knowledge Among Dental Medicine Students at the University of Zagreb. Preprints 2020, 2020040324 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202004.0324.v1). Homolak, J.; Tomljanovic, D.; Milosevic, M.; Vrazic, D.; Zivkovic, M.; Budimir, I.; Pezo Nikolic, B.; Muslim, A.; Ljubicic, N.; Nikolic, M. A Cross-Sectional Study of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C Knowledge Among Dental Medicine Students at the University of Zagreb. Preprints 2020, 2020040324 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202004.0324.v1).

Abstract

Introduction: Dental health care workers, particularly dental medicine students (DMS), are at an increased risk of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The aim of our study was to assess the level of knowledge on HBV and HCV, estimate needlestick injury (NSI) prevalence and reporting practice in DMS at the University of Zagreb and analyze how enrolment in obligatory and supplemental courses affects knowledge and needlestick injury reporting practice. Materials and methods: The knowledge was assessed by our questionnaires based on Centers for Disease Control general handouts. Additional information was collected to examine the prevalence and reporting practice of NSI. Data was analyzed by descriptive statistical analysis, independent-samples t-tests, proportion analyses and combined factor analyses of categorical and quantitative variables in SPSS and R. Results: In total, 206 students participated. The overall level of HBV and HCV-related knowledge was poor with average scores being 61.90% and 51.35% respectively. Moreover, students enrolled in the first year demonstrated significantly lower levels of knowledge in comparison with their older peers. Of all participants 18.2% sustained a needlestick injury, and majority of them (78.95%) never reported the injury. Conclusion: In conclusion, DMS have low levels of knowledge on important occupational pathogens and poor NSI reporting practice. Moreover, formal education in the current form failed to significantly improve competence of students and theoretical knowledge translates poorly into more conscientious injury reporting practice. We should look for a better way to increase student awareness and level of knowledge on this topic.

Subject Areas

hepatitis B; hepatitis C; occupational health; dental education; needlestick injury

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