Occupational exposure, willingness to care and misconception about hepatitis-B virus transmission among dental surgeons in Nigeria
Context: Hepatitis-B infection poses a significant threat to the health of dental surgeons and oral healthcare delivery worldwide.
Aim/Objective: To assess occupational exposure, willingness to care and misconceptions about hepatitis-B virus (HBV) transmission among dental surgeons in Nigeria.
Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among randomly selected dental surgeons in Edo and Delta States of Nigeria. Questionnaire regarding demography, knowledge about the transmission of HBV, worry about contracting the infection, comfort level in having infected colleague, willingness to treat infected patients, glove use, needlestick and sharp injuries and post-exposure prophylaxis was the tool of data collection.
Results: Misconceptions about the mode of transmission of HBV existed among the respondents and 86.0% of them used gloves regularly. Three-quarters (74.6%) and 80.7% of the respondents have received hepatitis-B
vaccine and expressed different level of worry about occupational HBV contraction respectively. The majority of the respondents expressed willingness to render emergency and routine dental care for hepatitis-B infected patients but 50.9% expressed comfort in having infected colleague. The prevalence of needlestick and sharp injuries and post-exposure prophylaxis in event of injury among the respondents were high and low respectively. The vaccinated respondents expressed more willingness to treat hepatitis-B patients, better comfort level having infected colleagues and lesser worry about occupational contraction of hepatitis-B infection than the unvaccinated respondents. Vaccinated respondents were also more likely to be regular glove users, experience needlestick and sharps injury and seek post-exposure prophylaxis.
Conclusion: Misconceptions about the mode of transmission of HBV existed among the respondents. Occupational exposure, willingness to care and worry about occupational (HBV) contraction among the
respondents were high but had non significant association with hepatitis-B vaccination status.
Key words: Occupational exposure, willingness, hepatitis-B, dental surgeons