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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 50-54

Knowledge and attitude regarding swine flu among dental house surgeons in Belagavi city: A cross-sectional study

Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, KLE VK Institute of Dental Sciences, KLE University, Belagavi, Karnataka, India

Date of Submission27-Sep-2016
Date of Acceptance28-Dec-2016
Date of Web Publication1-Jun-2017

Correspondence Address:
Shivayogi M Hugar
Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, KLE VK Institute of Dental Sciences, KLE University, Belagavi, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2468-838X.207423

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Background: Influenza disease is one of the oldest medical problems, which is known to cause severe illness and high mortality rates, worldwide. In flu pandemics, medical and dental students' knowledge, attitudes, and practices are critical to save patients' life.
Aims: To assess knowledge and attitude regarding swine flu among dental house surgeons in Belagavi city.
Settings and Design: This was a cross-sectional questionnaire study conducted among dental surgeons of Belagavi city.
Subjects and Methods: One hundred thirty-three participants were recruited in a convenient sampling cross-sectional survey. Pretested, self-reported questionnaire was used and results were analyzed applying fitting statistical tests.
Statistical Analysis Used: Reliability of the questionnaire was checked using Cronbach's alpha which was found to be 78.4. Data were analyzed using SPSS 18.0 software.
Results: From the present study, it was seen that the participants do not have adequate knowledge regarding swine flu influenza.
Conclusions: We concluded that dental house surgeons do not have sufficient knowledge about swine flu. It seems that traditional educational models are not efficient and government with other nongovernmental organizations should emphasize to advocate motivational education methods including health belief model and motivational interview at undergraduate levels. Younger students and dentists may have less motivation to change their attitude and behavior so that we can focus our interventions on these groups.

Keywords: Attitude, dentists, knowledge, swine flu

How to cite this article:
Nerli S, Hugar SM, Gokhale NS, Kohli D, Uppin C, Badkar CM. Knowledge and attitude regarding swine flu among dental house surgeons in Belagavi city: A cross-sectional study. BLDE Univ J Health Sci 2017;2:50-4

How to cite this URL:
Nerli S, Hugar SM, Gokhale NS, Kohli D, Uppin C, Badkar CM. Knowledge and attitude regarding swine flu among dental house surgeons in Belagavi city: A cross-sectional study. BLDE Univ J Health Sci [serial online] 2017 [cited 2023 Jun 3];2:50-4. Available from: https://www.bldeujournalhs.in/text.asp?2017/2/1/50/207423

Swine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory disease has become a cause of concern in the developing countries. Being pandemic in nature, it has caused approximately 50 million deaths till date.[1] Usually, this disease spreads from pigs or birds to humans; however, the recent form was seen to occur among those who have not had any contact with pigs and was found to be spreading from humans to humans and affecting people of all ages.[2] On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization raised its pandemic alert to the highest level.[3] India is ranked 3rd among the most affected countries for cases and deaths of swine flu globally.[4] New cases are still occurring and may be due to the following reasons: demographic factors, poultry farming structure, poultry movement, vaccine unavailability, and geopolitical migration of birds.[5] Transmission of the new strain is human-to-human. Its symptoms are similar to those of influenza in general. It includes fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue. The flu can make chronic health problems worse.

During the epidemic distribution of infectious diseases such as influenza, health-care workers are responsible for delivering good quality management and treatment. Their knowledge and correct behavior can play an important role in disease spreading among individuals and also protecting them from illness. Thus, medical and dental students, in particular, residents' education about preventive strategies, effective treatment, and follow-up is critical, as well as their actions and behaviors in these fields. Medical and dental residents and fellowships usually do not have any longtime experiences, and therefore, they may have a greater risk comparison to other health-care workers. Proper knowledge, attitude, and practices are vital to prevent and control the disease, particularly among residents who has a greater risk of infection.[6]

Recent outbreak of swine flu virus has also posed a greater risk to the dentists because of its spread through aerosols.[7] In the past, many researchers have found out knowledge about swine flu among general population, but very few studies are available in India to assess dentist's knowledge, and none of the study is available to know about dental house surgeons knowledge about swine flu. Hence, this study was carried out to assess knowledge and attitude regarding swine flu among dental house surgeons.

  Subjects and Methods Top

The present cross-sectional questionnaire study was conducted among dental surgeons of Belagavi city. Ethical approval was obtained from the Institutional Review Board. The questionnaires consisted of 19 items (10 knowledge-based and 9 attitude-based). A pilot study was conducted among forty subjects to confirm the validity. In the pilot study, the respondents were asked for feedback on clarity of the questions and whether they faced any difficulty in answering the question. Reliability of the questionnaire was checked using Cronbach's alpha and the value obtained was 0.78. The study was explained to the subjects beforehand and volunteered participants were asked to assemble in a lecture hall on a predetermined date and time, according to convenience of subjects. Written informed consent was obtained and the questionnaires were distributed to the subjects after giving instructions. Subsequently, the forms were collected immediately from all the respondents and the surveys were kept anonymous. The completed forms were compiled and the data collected was analyzed with the SPSS software 18.0 version (IBM SPSS Statistics 18, SPSS South Asia, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India).

  Results Top

In the present study, all the 133 participants returned the completed filled questionnaire. The study included 16.5% of male population and 83.5% of female population, which could be related to the more number of female students in the institution [Table 1].
Table 1: Distribution of subjects according to gender

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  Discussion Top

The health-care workers' immediate and appropriate responses have a crucial role to control H1N1 influenza pandemic.[8] Although there exists a considerable awareness regarding the risks of cross infection through the dental operatory, this awareness was heightened with the spread of diseases such as HIV and hepatitis B.[9] However, the increase in level of awareness may not transform into the knowledge being used for the prevention of such dreadful diseases. Thus, the scope of this survey on a representative random sample of dental house surgeons was to provide a thought through explanation of dentists' knowledge and attitude in respect to the swine influenza, and such an understanding is important to assess their effectiveness in the prevention of infectious diseases. In our study, we found that the result of knowledge level among the house surgeons to our questionnaire was poor with some striking and disturbing gaps in knowledge and poor behavioral response. Maximum house surgeons knew the mode of transmission of swine flu which is airborne (94%) [Table 2] and this information is crucial as not knowing about this may lead dentists to inappropriately triage patients. The results are in accordance to study conducted by Kaipa et al.[10]
Table 2: Responses to the questions by the participants of the study

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Only 13.5% of the dental house surgeons knew that the spread of virus occurs both 1–2 days before becoming sick and after being sick. The percentage of respondents not knowing this fact is greater than the findings observed by Kaipa et al. (48.2%).[10] The knowledge regarding the pandemic nature of swine flu was hardly known to some of the house surgeons (17.3%). Around 80% of them knew about the spread and symptoms of swine flu.

Of the total respondents, 83.5% knew they will be cured if they are affected with swine flu. Another interesting fact was that 59.4% of the house surgeons were not aware that they were at risk of being infected by swine flu influenza, which is a disturbing finding probably due to the minimum number of cases reported from this community results were similar to those obtained by Kaipa et al. 65.4% of the respondents were hesitant to treat patients with swine flu-like symptoms which almost goes in hand with the findings presented by Kaipa et al.[10]

High knowledge is not sufficient alone for improving attitudes and practices. Using motivational educating models can be helpful to convert individual's knowledge to correct attitudes and behaviors, subsequently.[11]

  Conclusions Top

From the results of the study, it can be shown that house surgeons lack the knowledge and the right attitude for the prevention of spread of swine flu. From the results obtained, there exists a lacuna in the knowledge on swine flu and the knowledge being translated into a habit for prevention of spread of the disease. Thus, knowledge getting transformed into attitude should be channelized through the means of continuing dental programs or through advertisements as a part of being prepared in case of an outbreak.


Specific preventive protocols must be incorporated into the undergraduate curriculum for preventing the spread of such pandemics.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Taubenberger JK, Morens DM. 1918 Influenza: The mother of all pandemics. Emerg Infect Dis 2006;12:15-22.  Back to cited text no. 1
Center for Disease Control and Prevention. H1N1 Flu Clinical and Public Health Guidance. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/guidance/. [Last accessed on 2015 Jul 20].  Back to cited text no. 2
World Health Organization. WHO Guidelines for Pharmacological Management of Pandemic Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 and other Influenza Viruses; February, 2010. Available from: http://www.who.int/csr/resources/publications/swineflu/h1n1_use_antivirals_20090820/en/. [Last accessed on 2015 Jul 23].  Back to cited text no. 3
Sinha NK, Roy A, Das B, Das S, Basak S. Evolutionary complexities of swine flu H1N1 gene sequences of 2009. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2009;390:349-51.  Back to cited text no. 4
Giriputro S. Present situation and clinical features of A/H1N1 human infection. 13th International Congress on Infectious Diseases Abstracts. Int J Infect Dis 2008;12:1-43.  Back to cited text no. 5
Askarian M, Danaei M, Vakili V. Knowledge, attitudes, and practices regarding pandemic H1N1 influenza among medical and dental residents and fellowships in Shiraz, Iran. Int J Prev Med 2013;4:396-403.  Back to cited text no. 6
Di Giuseppe G, Nobile CG, Marinelli P, Angelillo IF. A survey of knowledge, attitudes, and behavior of Italian dentists toward immunization. Vaccine 2007;25:1669-75.  Back to cited text no. 7
Balkhy HH, Abolfotouh MA, Al-Hathlool RH, Al-Jumah MA. Awareness, attitudes, and practices related to the swine influenza pandemic among the Saudi public. BMC Infect Dis 2010;10:42.  Back to cited text no. 8
Singhal V, Bora D, Singh S. Hepatitis B in health care workers: Indian scenario. J Lab Physicians 2009;1:41-8.  Back to cited text no. 9
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Kaipa S, Epari V, Gupta S. Knowledge and attitude towards swine influenza among dental practitioners in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh, India. J Educ Ethics Dent 2011;1:52 8.  Back to cited text no. 10
  [Full text]  
Leiba A, Dreiman N, Weiss G, Adini B, Bar-Dayan Y. The effectiveness of an educational intervention on clinicians' knowledge of pandemic influenza. Isr Med Assoc J 2010;12:460-2.  Back to cited text no. 11


  [Table 1], [Table 2]


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