Introduction Peru is one of the countries with the highest number of tuberculosis (TB) cases in the Americas with an incidence of 119 × 100 000 people in the last year. The Stop Tuberculosis Partnership recommends the use of knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) instruments to gather valuable information, however there is no previous research in Peru.
Methods An observational cross-sectional study was performed to explore the level of KAP about occupational TB in a healthcare workers group from a public hospital in Lima, during September 2016 to January 2017. We used a validated KAP instrument focused on TB risk of infection and control measures in clinical settings. Descriptive statistics were performed for KAP as well Kendall’s Tau-b was used for exploring associations.
Results From 300 participants, 50% achieved a good level of knowledge and 22.3% a good performance level on applying control measures. Medical doctors and interns achieved better level of knowledge (81% and 78%) while nursing technician and administrative staff had the lowest (19% and 15%). Only 19% of workers from the emergency area achieved a good performance level on the TB Practice scale while more than a half of medical residents (53%) achieved a bad performance level. A weak positive correlation between the self-perceived TB knowledge and actual TB knowledge was found. (Kendall´s Tau-b=0.17; p<0.01)
Discussion Healthcare workers who labour daily at a high-risk area -especially in emergency area- are not correctly applying control measures to prevent TB, increasing the probability to develop occupational TB. Even though medical doctors achieved better level of knowledge, most of medical residents achieved bad performance level on practices. These results provide baseline information from which control programs should be established. Hospitals’ employers should reinforce their methods of ensuring the learning process and the correct implementation of TB control measures.
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