The authors report no conflict of interest or relevant financial relationships.
Low Levels of Knowledge and Preventive Practices Regarding Vertical Hepatitis B Transmission among Perinatal Nurses
Article first published online: 14 JUN 2012
© 2012 AWHONN, the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing
Volume 41, Issue 4, pages 494–505, July/August 2012
How to Cite
Chao, S. D., Cheung, C. M., Yang, E. J., So, S. K. S. and Chang, E. T. (2012), Low Levels of Knowledge and Preventive Practices Regarding Vertical Hepatitis B Transmission among Perinatal Nurses. Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, 41: 494–505. doi: 10.1111/j.1552-6909.2012.01379.x
- Issue published online: 17 JUL 2012
- Article first published online: 14 JUN 2012
- Manuscript Accepted: JAN 2012
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Grant Number: #1R18PS000830
- hepatitis B;
- perinatal nursing;
- nursing education
To evaluate current levels of hepatitis-B-related knowledge and clinical practice among perinatal nurses.
Santa Clara County, California, home to one of the largest U.S. populations at risk of perinatal hepatitis B transmission.
Perinatal nurses (N = 518) from eight birthing hospitals.
In 2008–2010, nurses completed a baseline survey evaluating existing hepatitis-B-related knowledge and preventive clinical practices, participated in an educational seminar, received instructional materials about hepatitis B, and completed a follow-up knowledge survey.
Eighty percent of perinatal nurses had provided health care to a pregnant woman with chronic hepatitis B, but only 51% routinely provided patients with educational information about hepatitis B. While 75% routinely informed patients about effective methods to prevent mother-to-child transmission, only a small minority (17–34%) educated infected women about standard recommendations for protecting themselves and household members. One fourth or fewer nurses correctly answered most questions about hepatitis B prevalence, risks, and symptoms. After the educational seminar, knowledge increased statistically significantly.
Existing knowledge about hepatitis B is limited, and nationally recommended preventive clinical practices are commonly overlooked by perinatal nurses. This lack of knowledge and preventive care represents a noteworthy gap and an opportunity for targeted training and education to improve perinatal hepatitis B prevention and medical management of infected mothers.