Journal article Open Access

PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS COVID-19: A CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY IN AL- AHSA

Dr. Roaa Buhligah , Dr. Rawan Buhlagah , Dr. Doaa Alsultan , Dr. Malak Alhaddad , Dr. Fatin Aljaafar , Dr. Ghida Bukhamsin , Dr. Wejdan Saleh Aldrees , Dr. Sarah AlGhadeer , Dr. Zahra Alsubaie , Dr. Zahra AlGhazal, Dr. Turkiah Alotaibi, Dr. Fatimah Almubarak

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) developed from a novel coronavirus classified as Extreme Acute Coronavirus Respiratory Syndrome 2 (SARS-CoV-2), It's a respiratory infection, its symptoms range from common cold like to pneumonia; it can be fatal when it is complicated by acute respiratory distress syndrome. Outbreak was started from the Hunan seafood market in China's Wuhan city. The virus spread globally by affecting 8 million with at least 433,490 deaths. By understanding the mechanism of COVID19 transmission mood WHO advised the public to have some precautions that includes regularly and thoroughly washing hands with soap and water or with alcohol based hand rub, maintaining social distance for at least 1 meter between anyone and covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.

Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive questionnaire study was carried out in AlAhsa region in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The estimated sample size is calculated by a sample size formula.  The study sample was obtained through a self-administered online questionnaire to provide a comprehensive view on the impact of level of home isolation and the people emotions during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Results: The questionnaire was distributed online through social media. (1121) responses where received and analyzed. Our study identified a prevalence of 974 (86.9%) participants who have heard about Covid-19. The majority of the participants’ source of information about COVID-19 was from social media 825 (73.6%), while the least were havening no information 125 (11.2%). And 427 (38.2%) the source of their information was from health practitioner/ Ministry of Health MOH.

Moreover, attitude and practice of the participants were assessed through several questions. Participants were asked if they committed to home insulation during the Corona pandemic, 955 (85.2%) answered yes. Also, participants were asked if they did visit crowded places recently, 35 (4.7%) answered yes, and 909 (81.1%) answered. 94.4% of our participants take precaution when they need to go out by wearing face mask, applying hand sanitizer and washing their hands. When asked how often you sterilize or wash your hand during the day, the highest percentage was more than five times 652 (58.2%).

In addition, 1024 (91.3%) said they maintain social distancing, 19 (1.7%) didn’t maintain social distancing and 78 (7.0%) maintain it sometime.  Participants also were asked about their feelings during the Corona pandemic, most of them felt anxious and stressed 407 (36.3%), while 364 felt (32.5%) reassured.  The relationship between home quarantine and participants’ emotions during the COVID 19 pandemic shows that there is a significant relationship with score (p value = 0.031).

Conclusion: This study found that most of the targeted population was knowledgeable about COVID-19 with a significant relationship between home quarantine and the participants’ emotions during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Keywords:  COVID-19 (Corona Virus Disease 2019), knowledge and attitudes.

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