Knowledge, risk perception, and behavioral intention about hepatitis C, among university students
Introduction: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major complex public health problem. Different resources have proved that healthcare workers more than the general population are at a risk of infection. Therefore, medical field students, due to the future occupational hazards, are included in the risk group. Aim: The purpose of the study was to evaluate the level of knowledge, public and individual risk perception, and behavioral intention about HCV, among medical sciences students of the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. Settings and Design: This is a descriptive–analytical study that was conducted among 457 students of the Medical Sciences in the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences. Materials and Methods: The data was collected using a questionnaire. Sampling was done randomly. Statistical Analysis Used: The data was analyzed using the SPSS18 software and statistical tests of Pearson, Spearman, T‑ test, and the analysis of variance (ANOVA); P < 0.05 was considered significant. Results: Four hundred and fifty‑seven students (41.8% male and 58.2% female) in 29 fields of study (six categories) participated in this research. The mean age was 21.55 ± 2.6 years. The mean and standard deviations of the students’ knowledge was 3.71 ± 2.9 (out of 8), and the behavioral intention to accruing information and performance of preventive actions related to HCV was 11.52 ± 3.16 (out of 20). Public risk perception was 20.1 ± 3.5 (out of 30); and personal risk perception was 6.96 ± 1.8 (out of 10). The ANOVA test showed that public perception of the risk among students of different academic fields was different (F = 1.52, P < 0.05). Conclusions: According to the low knowledge of students of Medical Sciences in the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences about HCV, it was recommended that the University Policymakers design an educational intervention about it, in order to minimize the chances of being infected.