Document Type : Research Article
Introduction: Corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19), was recognized and has caused serious illness and numerous deaths. The ultimate scope and effect of this outbreak are unclear at present as the situation is rapidly evolving. The disease causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with main clinical symptoms such as a dry cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty in breathing.
Objective: To assess knowledge, attitude, and practice of medical students towards corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Materials and Methods: An online cross-sectional survey was conducted among undergraduate medical students in India from September 2020 to February 2021. Participants were recruited using a snowball sampling technique and all data were collected via an online self-reported questionnaire using Google Forms (http://forms.google.com/) as the data collection period coincided with implementation of the COVID-19 lockdown policy in India. Socio-demographics characteristics, social interaction history, information-seeking behavior, as well as knowledge, attitude, and practice toward COVID-19 were collected through a self-reported questionnaire. A p-value of <0.04 indicated statistical significance.
Results: A total of 2000 eligible participants completed the survey, 71.5% of whom were female, and their mean age was 19.4 years old (SD = 2.1). Almost all had sufficient knowledge (87.1%) and good preventive practice (93.6%) towards COVID-19; however, there was also a rather low level of positive attitude recorded, at 65.7%. The multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that the female participants, and the receiving of information from the official websites, reported a significantly higher level of good practice. Besides, students who had a high level of sufficient knowledge and positive attitude towards COVID-19 were more likely to have good preventive practices (All p<0.001).
Conclusion: Many undergraduate medical students in India had positive attitude and practice against COVID-19, yet only a few had adequate knowledge. This warrants further interventions to keep them updated with COVID-19 evidence to maximize their potentials in raising public awareness on COVID-19.