Purpose: Although the overall incidence of hepatitis A in Korea has been decreasing recently, the adolescents born before the introduction of the hepatitis A vaccine remain to be highly vulnerable to outbreak. This study examines the unvaccinated adolescents' and their parents' knowledge and health beliefs toward hepatitis A vaccination. Methods: Healthy adolescents aged 13-19 years old who had no previous history of hepatitis A vaccine and hepatitis A infection, and their parents or legal guardians were the subjects of the study. The survey was conducted using a structured questionnaire based on the Health Belief Model, and examined the subjects' demographics, knowledge, and health beliefs (i.e., perceived susceptibility, severity, benefits, and barriers). Results: We included 157 adolescents and their parents/guardians (mean age: 16.0±1.6 and 45.6±4.7 years, respectively). The average knowledge item score for adolescents and parents was 6.4±3.7 and 7.3±3.4 (out of 18), respectively. Similarly, average Health Belief Model item scores were: susceptibility, 5.6±1.6 and 5.9±1.7 (range: 2-10); severity, 16.3±4.1 and 18.3±3.6 (range:5-25); benefits, 19.7±3.3 and 20.6±2.1 (range:5-25); and barriers, 41.3±8.9 and 39.0±9.1 (range:7-85). The major reason for not undergoing hepatitis A vaccination was lack of knowledge about its importance. Conclusions: Refresher health lectures about hepatitis A and the vaccine are needed by both the adolescents and their parents. Furthermore, the inclusion of hepatitis A vaccine in the national immunization program should be considered to reduce the risk of hepatitis A outbreak and to raise the vaccination coverage among the adolescents in Korea.
- Hepatitis A