Hepatitis C virus infection in primary care: survey of registered nurses’ knowledge and access to information
Article first published online: 2 NOV 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal of Advanced Nursing © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Journal of Advanced Nursing
Volume 67, Issue 2, pages 327–339, February 2011
How to Cite
Frazer, K., Glacken, M., Coughlan, B., Staines, A. and Daly, L. (2011), Hepatitis C virus infection in primary care: survey of registered nurses’ knowledge and access to information. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 67: 327–339. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2648.2010.05489.x
- Issue published online: 14 JAN 2011
- Article first published online: 2 NOV 2010
- Accepted for publication 10 September 2010
- cross-sectional survey;
- hepatitis C virus infection;
- nurse practitioners;
- primary health
frazer k., glacken m., coughlan b., staines a. & daly l. (2011) Hepatitis C virus infection in primary care: survey of registered nurses’ knowledge and access to information. Journal of Advanced Nursing 67(2), 327–339.
Aim. This paper is a report of a study conducted to compare knowledge of hepatitis C virus infection amongst three groups of registered nurses working in primary care, to identify their current sources of information and access to educational resources.
Background. Hepatitis C virus infection is a public health problem; no vaccine exists to prevent the disease. Previous studies identified limitations in nurses’ knowledge of hepatitis C virus infection and the impact on care. Limited research has been conducted in primary care.
Methods. A cross-sectional postal census survey of 981 nurses working in one Irish health board region was conducted March–June 2006. Questionnaires measured knowledge of hepatitis C virus infection. Data were collected on demographics, current working practices, information resources and previous education.
Results. The response rate was 57·1% (n = 560). A minority (27·3% 145/531) of respondents agreed they were well informed about the virus. Almost 40% reported having contact with clients with the virus; however, information and service provision differed. Factors influencing higher knowledge included: contact with clients with hepatitis C virus infection (P < 0·0001), working in the addiction services (P < 0·0001), educated to degree level and above (P < 0·010) and previously attending education programmes (P < 0·0001). Only 21·5% (119/553) of respondents had attended any form of education on hepatitis C virus infection.
Conclusion. Gaps in nurses’ knowledge exist and can limit information and advice. Educational and information resources need to be developed for registered nurses working in primary care; care for clients with hepatitis C virus infection is not the sole remit of the addiction services.