oa Southern African Journal of Epidemiology and Infection - Gender differences in characteristics, occupational exposure, and infection control practices among dental professionals in Edo State, Nigeria : original research



The objective of this study was to assess the gender differences in the characteristics of dental professionals in Edo State, Nigeria, their occupational exposure to percutaneous injuries, and their infection control practices. A cross-sectional surveywas conducted among dental professionals working in two tiers of healthcare delivery across Edo State, from December 2008-February 2009. A self-administered questionnaire elicited information on demography, and prevalence of percutaneous injuries and infection control practices, such as hand hygiene, glove use, eye protection, protective clothing, and hepatitis B vaccination. A total of 90 questionnaires were returned, yielding a response rate of 93.8%. There was significant gender difference in the age (p-value = 0.008) and profession of the respondents (p-value = 0.001), with more male dental surgeons (65.6%), and more female dental auxiliaries (73.1%). There was a gender difference in percutaneous occupational exposure (p-value = 0.602) and hepatitis B vaccination (p-value = 0.687), but these values were not significant. For infection control practices, females were more likely to comply with hand hygiene (p-value = 0.016) and eye protection (p-value = 0.044), while more males regularly wore protective clothing (p-value = 0.035). There were gender differences in age and professional categories among oral health workers. However, there appear to be no gender differences in terms of general infection control guidelines, except for three infection control measures: hand hygiene (favoured by women), eye protection (preferred by women) and protective clothing (favoured by men).


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