Assessment of awareness and knowledge of hepatitis B among the residents of Puchong, Malaysia
Purpose: To assess the level of awareness and knowledge of Hepatitis B infection in the selected area of Puchong, Malaysia.
Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted among 400 subjects (> 12 yrs of age) using validated questionnaire which was distributed and completed by the respondent from January 2013 to April 2013. The data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software.
Results: Reliability test (Cronbach’s alpha) was 0.731 and 0.912 for knowledge and awareness, respectively, in the pilot study. The results showed that there was a significant difference in the mean knowledge and awareness of the subjects among various age groups (p < 0.05), ethnic groups (p < 0.005) and educational qualifications (p < 0.005). Out of 400 subjects, 48.5 % were not aware of and 66.5 % had never taken vaccine for Hepatitis B.
Conclusion: Overall, the level of awareness and knowledge of hepatitis B is low. Each of the three demographic characteristics such as age group, ethnic group and educational qualification are a predictive factor. This low level of awareness and knowledge should be improved through health education and frequent vaccination programs on Hepatitis B among the public; especially in Puchong, Malaysia.
Keywords: Hepatitis B, Knowledge, Awareness, Reliability test, Survey, Vaccination