Awareness, knowledge, and practice for hepatitis B infection in Southeast Asia: a cross-sectional study.
Soe KP., Pan-Ngum W., Nontprasert A., Kittitrakul C., Oam N., Thong VD., Tangkijvanich P., Leowattana W., Poovorawan K.
INTRODUCTION:The prevalence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in Southeast Asia is high. Awareness and early detection are essential for timely prevention and treatment. METHODOLOGY:We examined the awareness of, knowledge about, practices and views on treatment for HBV infection in Southeast Asia. A cross-sectional survey was conducted from December 2016 to February 2017 among individuals from six nations in Southeast Asia-Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, the Philippines, and Singapore. The study population comprised healthcare and non-healthcare personnel. RESULTS:In total, 799 healthcare personnel and 1079 non-healthcare personnel completed an online survey. The prevalence of the awareness of their own HBV infection status and risk of this regionally endemic infection was 85.6% (684/799) among healthcare personnel and 54.0% (583/1079) among non-healthcare personnel. Similarly, 85.9% of healthcare personnel and 45.5% of non-healthcare personnel had good knowledge about disease transmission, complications, and the need for treatment, and 76.6% of healthcare personnel and 39.8% of non-healthcare personnel followed good HBV infection-prevention practices. Overall, 90.6% found the idea of treatment acceptable. Awareness had a significant impact on both knowledge and practice scores among both healthcare personnel and non-healthcare personnel (p < 0.01) but without statistically significant differences in treatment acceptance between the two groups (p = 0.61). CONCLUSIONS:Awareness of HBV infection was relatively low among non-healthcare personnel in Southeast Asian populations. The provision of additional hepatitis B awareness campaigns is crucial to eliminating viral hepatitis in the region.