Knowledge, attitudes, practices, and their associated factors against the growing threat of COVID-19 among medical students
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Preventive Medicine and Hygiene Department, Hedi Chaker University Hospital, University of Sfax, Sfax, TUNISIA
Community Health and Epidemiology Department, Hedi Chaker University Hospital, University of Sfax, Sfax, TUNISIA
Publication date: 2022-09-17
Electron J Gen Med 2022;19(6):em415
Coronavirusdiseasese 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected the world deeply. Successfully control and minimization of related morbidity and mortality require changing the behavior, which is influenced by knowledge and perceptions. This study aimed to explore the level of knowledge, attitude, and practice of medical students (MS) regarding COVID-19 and to identify their associated factors.

A cross-sectional study involving 431 ungraduated MS was conducted in Sfax Medical School, Southern Tunisia, in November 2020.

The global scores of COVID-19 knowledge, attitude and practice among MS were 74.6±13, 69±10.2, and 78.8±13.6/100, respectively. Prevalence of good knowledge, positive attitude and good practice was 47.1%, 19.3%, and 61.3%, respectively. In multivariate analysis, the independent factors of good knowledge were current smoking (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=1.8; p=0.04), assistance to training sessions (AOR=1.5; p=0.04) and specialized residency education level (AOR=2.4; p=0.02). History of chronic disease was an independant predictor of positive attitude (AOR=2.4; p=0.009), while current smoking (AOR=0.4; p=0.01) wasindependantly associated with negative attitude. Social media used as a main source of information about COVID-19 was independently associated with poor knowledge (AOR=0.5; p=0.01) and negative attitude (AOR=0.4; p=0.008). Independant factors of good practice were specialized residency education level (AOR=2.4; p=0.01), being in close contact exposure with COVID-19 cases (AOR= 2.1; p=0.04) and having good knowledge (AOR=2.2; p<0.001).

Tunisian MS had satisfactory knowledge and practice about COVID-19, butthey had lower positive attitude rates towards this emergent disease. Thus, development of interactive courses on emerging diseases and travel epidemiology are higly recommended.

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