The Effect of Health Education on Workers’ Knowledge, Attitudes and Practice of Post-Exposure Prophylaxis in a Nigerian Tertiary Health Institution
Background- Post exposure prophylaxis (PEP) against occupational exposures to blood home viruses like HIV has given opportunity for safe health care delivery among health care workers, who are frequently exposed to HIV and other blood-borne viruses in the course of patient care. However, the effect of health education on the knowledge, attitudes and practice of PEP to occupational exposure among health care workers in Nigeria is unknown. Aim- This study determined the effect of health education on knowledge, attitudes and practice of PEP to occupational exposure among health care workers in a tertiary health institution in Nigeria. Method -The study was an intervention study conducted in a tertiary hospital in Enugu state, South East Nigeria. Data were collected with self-administered questionnaire from 386 health workers in 2 tertiary hospitals (one for the study and the other control site) and was done in 3 phases. Data was analyzed using SPSS 15.0.., Results – The results showed that majority had a basic knowledge of PEP, (89%) which increased after the intervention (93%) (p-O.OOO).This was almost the same for the control site (87%) to (92%) (p0.000). This could be due the presence ofHIV center in the control site stimulating more information through questions after the pre-test or could be that some other group conducted an education intervention within the course of the study. Most healthcare workers had not had any training on PEP, (37%) and very few knew where to access drugs outside HIV centers (48%) which did not improve in the postintervention (44%). The attitudes and practice of workers did not improve as workers who checked patient’s status after an exposure did not improve (pre-test 65%, post-test 62%). Conclusion-The effect of health education on knowledge of PEP was significant but not for the attitude and practice. This would likely endanger the lives of healthcare workers consistent information, education and communication through other means. There is also the need to provide adequate PEP drugs and increase access to the services.