Healthcare Workers' Knowledge About Influenza Transmission is Lacking

Albano, et al. (2014) sought to assess the knowledge, the attitudes, and the behavior toward influenza A/H1N1 and the vaccination among healthcare workers (HCWs). A sample of HCWs was selected from a random sample of non-teaching public hospitals, located in the cities of Naples and Avellino (Italy), received a self-administered anonymous questionnaire including questions about socio-demographic characteristics, knowledge on modes of transmission and preventive measures, attitudes and behavior relating to influenza A/H1N1.

Only 36.1 percent correctly knew the main modes of transmission, and that HCWs are a risk category and this level of knowledge was significantly higher in HCWs having received information through scientific journals. A higher perceived risk of contracting influenza A/H1N1 has been observed in the HCWs more knowledgeable, in those considering influenza A/H1N1 a serious disease, and in those working in surgical wards. Only 16.7 percent have received the influenza A/H1N1 vaccination and HCWs with more fear of contracting influenza A/H1N1, those considering vaccine more useful and less dangerous were more likely to receive vaccine.

The reserchers concluded that education and communication strategies for improving the level of knowledge and for the immunization uptake regarding influenza A/H1N1 HCWs are strongly needed. Their research was published in BMC Infectious Diseases. 

Reference: Albano L, Matuozzo A, Marinelli P and Di Giuseppe G. Knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of hospital health-care workers regarding influenza A/H1N1: a cross sectional survey. BMC Infectious Diseases 2014, 14:208  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-208