Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices (KAP) of Italian Occupational Physicians towards Tick Borne Encephalitis

Matteo Riccò, Giovanni Gualerzi, Silvia Ranzieri, Pietro Ferraro, Nicola Luigi Bragazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Tick-Borne Encephalitis (TBE) is an occupational health threat with increasing incidence in the geographic area of Italy. Despite this, TBE vaccination rates have ranged from 10% to 40% in Italy, even in at-risk workers. The reasons for this low rate are investigated in this present study of the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of occupational physicians (OP) regarding TBE disease and vaccination in at-risk workers. A total of 229 OP participated in an internet-based survey by completing a structured questionnaire. Adequate general knowledge of TBE disease was found in 58% of OP. Accurate perception of TBE risk in occupational settings was found in 20%. TBE vaccination for at-risk workers was recommended by 19%. Willingness to recommend TBE vaccination was more likely by OP practicing in endemic areas (Odds Ratio 3.10, 95% confidence intervals 1.47-6.55), who knew the existence of the term "arboviruses" (3.10, 1.29-7.44), or exhibited a better understanding of TBE (2.38, 1.11-5.12)-and were positive predictors for promoting TBE vaccine, while acknowledging that TBE as a severe disease was a negative one. Tick-borne disorders in Italy are a still rare (but increasing) occupational health threat, and vaccination gaps for TBE virus may find an explanation in OP incomplete knowledge of evidence-based recommendations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTropical Medicine and Infectious Disease
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 16 2020

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