Uncertain knowledge: A national survey of high school students' knowledge and beliefs about hepatitis C

Jo Lindsay, Anthony M.A. Smith, Doreen A. Rosenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Hepatitis C (HCV) has recently emerged as an important public health issue. This study documents young people's hepatitis C (HCV) knowledge, risk perceptions and sources of information. Method. Australia, 1997; nationally representative survey; sample of students in Years 10 and 12 in government secondary schools (n = 3550). Results: Students' knowledge about HCV was found to be extremely poor. Of the seven questions on hepatitis, only one was answered correctly by more than half the students. Few could differentiate between hepatitis A, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. Only a small number (12%) perceived themselves to be at risk of hepatitis and fewer than half (41%) had sought advice about hepatitis. Conclusion: There is a need for more HCV education and health promotion for secondary school students. Implications: Some lessons from HIV education can be readily transferred to this new epidemic but others cannot. There is a danger that HIV and HCV will be conflated in education programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-139
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes

Cite this