Knowledge of and attitudes towards hepatitis B and its transmission from mother to child among pregnant women in Guangdong Province, China

Zhenyan Han, Yuzhu Yin, Yuan Zhang, Stephan Ehrhardt, Chloe L Thio, Kenrad Edwin Nelson, Xiaoyi Bai, Hongying Hou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection remains a serious public health problem worldwide. Mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) of HBV is the major mode of transmission in HBVendemic areas, including China, where little is known about pregnant women's knowledge of and attitudes towards HBV infection and MTCT. Methods: A cross-sectional survey, conducted in pregnant women in Guangdong Province, China, measured HBV knowledge and attitudes using a questionnaire, at one tertiary and two rural hospitals. Results: The total response rate was 94.5% (737/780). Of the 11 knowledge questions, the mean score was 6.73 ± 3.04 (mean ± SD). Most pertinent to preventing MTCT, 53.3% of the respondents did not know that HBV can be transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse and nearly 20% did not know that HBV can be transmitted from mother to infant. The results of the four attitude questions was better with 83% and 85% being willing to be screened for HBV and let their baby receive HBV vaccine and HBIg, respectively. However, only 16.5% of respondents agreed that they would be willing to take drugs that are known not to harm the fetus to prevent MTCT of HBV. In multivariable analysis, higher education level was associated with better knowledge and attitude scores. Conclusions: Knowledge about HBV among pregnant women was poor and needs to be improved to prevent MTCT of HBV. Health education needs to be directed towards pregnant mothers, particularly less educated mothers, in high HBV endemicity settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0178671
JournalPLoS One
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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