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AAOHN J. 2003 Aug;51(8):347-52.

Nursing staff knowledge of the hepatitis B virus including attitudes and acceptance of hepatitis B vaccination: development of an effective program.

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  • 1Centre for Safety and Health at Work, NovaUCD, University College Dublin, Belfield.


Data for this study in a large tertiary referral teaching hospital in Dublin, Ireland were collected by anonymous self administered questionnaires. A total of 137 questionnaires were distributed to nurses working in five wards with a response rate of 88% (120). Objectives included identifying levels of awareness of the infectivity of the hepatitis B virus, ascertaining levels of knowledge of hepatitis B vaccination, and identifying attitudes resulting in acceptance of hepatitis B vaccine. Ninety seven respondents (82%) knew hepatitis B was 100 times more infective than HIV. Ninety eight respondents (83%) had completed a full course of hepatitis B immunizations. Ninety six respondents (93%) reported a hepatitis B antibody level on completion of the immunizations, 13 (14%) knew their actual titer, and 49 of 63 respondents (78%) reported immunity. Factors influencing decisions to accept vaccination included information related to the benefits of the vaccine from an occupational health physician or nurse and the vaccine being provided free of charge. Nurses in this study had an understanding of the hepatitis B infection. The number of nurses choosing to be vaccinated and having an antibody level test performed postvaccination was high in this group. Most nurses in this study believed they were immune to hepatitis B even though a significant number did not know their hepatitis B antibody level.

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