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Arquivos de Gastroenterologia

Print version ISSN 0004-2803On-line version ISSN 1678-4219


CONCEICAO, Joseni Santos da et al. Knowledge of obstetricians about the vertical transmission of hepatitis B virus. Arq. Gastroenterol. [online]. 2009, vol.46, n.1, pp.57-61. ISSN 0004-2803.

CONTEXT: Vertical transmission is responsible for 35%-40% of the new cases of hepatitis B worldwide and it is associated with an increased risk of chronic hepatitis B, cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. OBJECTIVE: To describe obstetricians' knowledge on the recommended measures to the diagnosis of the infection by the hepatitis virus B in pregnant women and to prevent the transmission of this infection to the babies of infected mothers. METHODS: Obstetricians registered at the "Sociedade de Ginecologia e Obstetrícia da Bahia", Salvador, BA, Brazil were randomly selected and invited to answer a questionnaire with questions regarding their academic formation, workplace, contact with medical students and their practices about the hepatitis virus B. Individuals who were not currently working as obstetricians or were not living in the state of Bahia were excluded from the study. Data were analyzed with the EpiInfo software with a 95% confidence interval. RESULTS: Three hundred and one obstetricians answered the questionnaire: 90.3% of them recognized that the hepatitis virus B could be transmitted vertically and 81.7% routinely screened their patients for hepatitis virus B infection during prenatal consultations; 66.0% considered HBsAg the best serological marker to be employed on the screening. Only 13.0% systematically recommended the vaccination against hepatitis virus B and the administration of immunoglobulin to the newborns of infected mothers in the first 12 hours of life. The frequency of correct answers about the vertical transmission of hepatitis virus B, the best serological marker for screening and the management of infected mothers and their newborns was higher among professionals who had the "Título de Especialista em Ginecologia e Obstetrícia (TEGO)" than among the remaining ones (P = 0.018, P = 0.001 and P = 0,002, respectively). CONCLUSION: We observed that the knowledge of the obstetricians about the diagnosis and management of hepatitis virus B infection during pregnancy is not adequate, reinforcing the need of continuous medical education programs on the infections that can be transmitted vertically.

Keywords : Hepatitis B, chronic [transmission]; Disease transmission, vertical; Pregnancy complications, infectious; Prenatal diagnosis; Obstetrics; Clinical competence.

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