Knowledge, attitudes and barriers regarding vaccination against hepatitis A and B in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection: A survey of family medicine and internal medicine physicians in the United States

C. T. Tenner, K. Herzog, S. Chaudhari, E. J. Bini, E. H. Weinshel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Although vaccination against hepatitis A virus (HAV) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) is recommended for all patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, physician vaccination practices are suboptimal. Since training for family medicine (FM) and internal medicine (IM) physicians differ, we hypothesised that there are differences in knowledge, attitudes and barriers regarding vaccination against HAV and HBV in patients with chronic HCV between these two groups. Methods: A two-page questionnaire was mailed to 3000 primary care (FM and IM) physicians randomly selected from the AMA Physician Masterfile in 2005. The survey included questions about physician demographics, knowledge and attitudes regarding vaccination. Results: Among the 3000 physicians surveyed, 1209 (42.2%) returned completed surveys. There were no differences between respondents and non-respondents with regard to age, gender, geographic location or specialty. More FM than IM physicians stated that HCV+ patients should not be vaccinated against HAV (23.7% vs. 11.8%, p < 0.001) or HBV (21.9% vs. 10.6%, p < 0.001). FM physicians were also less likely than IM physicians to usually/always test HCV+ patients for immunity against HAV (33.9% vs. 48.6%, p < 0.001) or against HBV (50.8% vs. 68.0%, p < 0.001). There were numerous barriers to HAV and HBV vaccination identified. The median number of barriers was 3 for FM physicians and 2 for IM physicians (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Despite recommendations to vaccinate against HAV and HBV in patients with chronic HCV infection, physicians often do not test or vaccinate susceptible individuals. Interventions are needed to overcome the barriers identified and improve vaccination rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1009-1013
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Clinical Practice
Volume66
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2012
Externally publishedYes

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