Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of Dentists towards Prophylaxis after Exposure to Blood and Body Fluids

S Shaghaghian, S Pardis, Z Mansoori


Background: Post-exposure prophylaxis plays an important role in prevention of bloodborne diseases after occupational exposures.

Objective: To evaluate the knowledge, attitude and practice of dentists towards post-exposure prophylaxis.

Methods: In a cross-sectional study, 140 dentists in Shiraz were selected through a systematic randomized sampling. They filled out a self-made questionnaire including 30 knowledge, 4 attitude and 10 practice questions. Mean of knowledge and percentage of various items of attitude and practice were reported.

Results: The mean±SD knowledge score of dentists was 18.5±6.2. Knowledge had a significant relationship with the level of education (p<0.001), attending infection control seminars (p<0.001), and working in public clinics (p<0.001). A total of 63 (43%) dentists believed that immediate washing of the exposed area has no effect on the prevention of hepatitis and AIDS. Of the studied dentists, 13%, 11%, and 34% believed that prophylaxis after exposure to patients' blood had no effect on prevention of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis B virus, and hepatitis C virus infections, respectively. Only 170 (53%) exposed dentists immediately washed the exposed area and only 43 (13.4%) of them evaluated the source patient for risk factors of hepatitis and AIDS.

Conclusion: Knowledge, attitude and practice of dentists working in Shiraz towards postexposure prophylaxis are not desirable. Interventions to raise their awareness are therefore warranted.


Post-exposure prophylaxis; Occupational exposure; Body fluids; Dentists; Knowledge; Attitude; Professional Practice

 pISSN: 2008-6520
 eISSN: 2008-6814

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